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Why Product Liability Cases Are Notoriously Difficult to Win

  • May 29, 2022
  • The Harr Law Firm

Product liability written on black paper near judge's gavelWhen you’re injured by a defective product, you should be entitled to compensation for those injuries. Your case might seem pretty cut-and-dry to you, and you may believe that collecting that compensation will be simple. However, this is rarely the case. Product liability cases can be notoriously difficult to win. What makes these types of cases so hard to handle? Keep reading to find out.

Number of Parties Involved

For starters, it’s important to note that there are many parties involved in the creation and distribution of a product. So, there are many potentially liable parties to look at when a defective product injures someone. Was the product damaged, but put on the shelf and sold anyways, and the damage to the product is what caused your injury? Then the distributor could be liable. Was the product inherently dangerous in its design? Then the product designer could be liable.

The number of parties and potential causes of a defective product can make it very difficult to pin down exactly who is at fault in these cases—and you can feel absolutely certain that each party will try to point a finger at someone else throughout the case too.

Proving Proper Use of the Product

Speaking of trying to assign blame to someone else, don’t be surprised if the party liable for your injury tries to assign some to you as well. They may try to prove that you were not using the product as intended, and that this resulted in your injury. Or, they might say that you failed to properly care for the product or damaged it in some way so that the product failed when you tried to use it.

For example, let’s say that you’re driving your new car around a tight bend and the car flips over in the turn. It is very possible that there is an inherent design flaw in the car that makes it prone to turnovers. However, if you were speeding at the time of the accident, the manufacturer will likely claim that you were not using the car properly, and your speeding was the cause of the turnover, not the car’s design issues.

It’s extremely important to document the exact circumstances of your injury so that you can prove you were using the product correctly at the time that the injury occurred. We understand that this might be difficult, since writing down or otherwise documenting the circumstances will not be a priority immediately after an injury occurs. However, we will do our best to work with you to collect witness statements and thoroughly record your own testimony for your liability case.

Failure to Warn of Hazard

Products today come with numerous warning labels and disclaimers to try to prevent cases like these from finding any footing in court. This is yet another obstacle in your path, but not an insurmountable one. To have a better chance of winning a product liability case, you should try to demonstrate that the manufacturer failed to warn of a dangerous quality of the product that would not be obvious to the ordinary customer.

For example, let’s say you sustained serious burns when picking up an electric drill you’d just been using. The average consumer should not be expected to know that the drill would become hot to the touch during use. This is a built-in hazard that, if the manufacturer knew of it, should have been addressed using a warning label. If nothing of the sort is included on the tool or in the owner’s manual, then they failed to warn of this hazard.

Big, Corporate Lawyers

Last but certainly not least, it’s worth pointing out that product manufacturers and distributors are typically very large organizations, and they’re supported by very large law firms with a lot of resources and experience. It can be extremely daunting to face down companies of this size, who will no doubt try to bully you out of a lawsuit, or pressure you into accepting an unfair settlement claim.

This is why it is incredibly important to have an experienced attorney in your corner as well. The Harr Law Firm can be your advocate in dealing with these corporations and their corporate lawyers, while also helping you overcome the other hurdles we’ve listed above. While product liability cases may be difficult to win, they’re not impossible. We can help you file a personal injury lawsuit, or set up a class action lawsuit based on the details of your case. Call now to schedule a consultation.