Product liability in the age of E-Commerce is becoming increasingly important as online shopping grows and impacts our daily lives. These days, you can buy anything from household goods to brand-new cars from online vendors.
But this convenience doesn’t make using products safer. Items bought online can still cause severe harm due to defects or other issues.
If you have been hurt after an online purchase, speak with the attorneys at the Frederick Law Firm. Our team understands product liability in the age of e-commerce and can help fight to get you compensation.
Basics of Product Liability
Product liability is a legal concept that holds certain parties responsible for the safety of their products.
Most product liability claims fall within the following categories:
- Design Defects. These are issues with the inherent design of a product that make it unreasonably dangerous.
- Manufacturing defects. Manufacturing flaws can occur during production, leading the finished product to cause harm.
- Marketing defects. Inadequate instructions or labels might not inform consumers about a product’s proper use or potential risks.
Someone injured by a product can file a lawsuit based on these defects. If so, they must show that a defective product was the direct cause of harm or damages.
Possible Liable Parties
Multiple parties can be liable for a product’s defects in a product liability claim. In the typical case, liable parties may include:
- Manufacturers. Most claims start with the primary creators of the product, who are responsible for design, production, and quality control.
- Assemblers. Entities responsible for installing the product may be held liable if errors in the assembly lead to defects.
- Distributors. Wholesalers and other distributors can be liable if they knew or should have known about a defect and didn’t take appropriate action.
- Retailers. Sellers of the product to the end consumer may be liable if they contributed to the defect or were aware of it and continued selling it.
- Licensors or franchisors. If the product is sold under a brand or trademark owned by another entity, that entity may be liable if it influenced design or production.
- Testing laboratories. If a testing laboratory is employed to assess the safety and quality of a product, and they fail to identify a defect, they may be liable for negligence.
- Advertisers. If misleading marketing contributes to a consumer’s misuse of a product, the advertisers may face liability.
- Resellers. Even sellers of used products may face liability if they are aware of a defect and fail to disclose it to the buyer.
An attorney can help you identify potential defendants, which will depend on the nature of the product, the type of defect, and the laws in the jurisdiction.
What to Do After Buying a Defective Product Online
Discovering that you’ve purchased a defective product can be frustrating. Filing an e-commerce product liability claim can help you recover from injuries or financial losses.
Follow these steps to maximize your chances of winning your claim:
- Ensure safety first. If the defective product poses an immediate safety risk, stop using it to prevent further harm. Your safety and the safety of those around you should be the top priority.
- Get medical attention. If the defective product causes injuries, seek prompt medical attention. Keep a copy of your medical records because they can help show a link between the product and your injury.
- Preserve evidence. Retain all product-related documentation, including receipts, packaging, and any instructions. Also, take photographs or videos of the issues to have visual evidence.
- Document losses. Keep records of any costs you incur due to the defective product. This may include medical bills, property damage, or expenses related to replacing the product.
- Notify the seller or manufacturer. Reach out to all relevant parties to report the defect. Provide a clear and detailed description of the issue, and keep all communication records.
- Check for recalls. Research whether the product has been subject to recalls. If a recall exists, follow the recommended steps for returning or repairing the product.
- Report to consumer protection agencies. Report the defective product to agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission. You can also file a report with organizations like the Better Business Bureau to alert others of potential harm.
- Speak with a lawyer. It’s not uncommon for the seller or manufacturer to refuse to compensate you for a defective product. If this happens, a personal injury attorney can help you take legal action to get compensation.
On top of all this, remember that all states set a deadline to file a product liability lawsuit. The statute of limitations will vary by state, so it is helpful to consult an experienced attorney for guidance.
How an Attorney Can Help with Your Product Liability Claim
Working with an attorney is the best way to get fair compensation after injuries from a defective product.
Here are some of the ways a lawyer can assist you during this process:
- Case assessment. Attorneys will meet with you and review the facts of your case, identifying key elements and planning a legal strategy.
- Extensive investigation. Attorneys conduct a resourceful and thorough investigation, leaving no stone unturned. They gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work with experts to build strong cases that withstand scrutiny.
- Experience in product liability law. Attorneys deeply understand consumer safety laws, regulations, and industry standards. They will analyze every aspect of your case to identify strengths and weaknesses.
- Technical understanding of defects. Lawyers comprehend the technical aspects of product defects, like manufacturing and design defects. Their knowledge aids in presenting a compelling case supported by technical evidence.
- Access to experts. Attorneys often have connections with experts in various fields. These experts can provide testimony to substantiate claims, adding a layer of credibility and strength to your case.
- Negotiation ability. Your lawyer will speak with opposing parties and insurance companies to outline the details of your case. Their negotiation skill can help you get compensation that covers your losses.
- Trial preparedness. Should negotiations prove inadequate, attorneys are trial-ready. Their courtroom experience equips them to effectively present your case, cross-examine witnesses, and navigate the complexities of a trial with a focus on achieving a favorable verdict.
In sum, attorneys prioritize your best interests so you can focus on recovering. They will handle the confusing legal process and update you at every stage.
Speak with a Product Liability Lawyer
The Frederick Law Firm brings over 50 years of combined legal experience. Our attorneys excel in getting compensation for our clients, including a $44.5 million settlement in a product liability case. We are ready to answer all your questions about product liability in the age of e-commerce.
Call our office today to schedule a consultation with a product liability attorney.