When you go to a retail establishment in Santa Fe and purchase a consumer product, when you order a consumer product through the mail or over the internet, or when you receive a medical or dental implant, you should be able to trust that the product is safe. In other words, no consumer should ever have to wonder about the risk of personal injury due to a defect in a product they are using. However, product defects do happen. When a product contains a defect, it is extremely important for a consumer to learn more about product liability lawsuits if they do suffer harm. The following are five things to know about product defect claims.
1. Product Defect Claims, or Product Liability Lawsuits, are a Type of Personal Injury Claim
Product liability lawsuits, or product defect cases, are a type of personal injury claim. Personal injury law is a broad area of the law that allows injured parties to seek compensation for many different types of injuries.
2. You Likely Have Three Years From the Date of Your Injury to File a Claim
Under New Mexico law, most personal injury lawsuits must be filed within three years from the date of the injury. If you wait to file your claim and that time window closes, your claim will become time-barred.
3. Three Different Types of Product Defects Typically Occur
There are three general types of product defects that can occur, according to the Cornell Legal Information Institute — design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects (also known as a failure to warn about risks of use).
4. Product Liability Claims Use the Theory of “Strict Liability”
When you get hurt because of a product defect, you do not need to prove that the designer, manufacturer, or other party was negligent in creating or marketing the product. Instead, product liability lawsuits operate on a legal theory known as “strict liability.” All you must prove is that the product had a defect, and that the defect resulted in your injuries.
5. Even if You Failed to Use the Product as it Was Intended to be Used, You May Still Have a Product Defect Case
While consumer products are marketed for specific purposes and manufacturers must give warnings about hazards associated with the use of a particular product, it is important for consumers to know that product makers also must warn about risks associated with unintended but reasonably foreseeable uses of a product. In other words, even if you used a product in a way that it was not intended to be used but a reasonable person would have foreseen such a use, injuries resulting from a failure to warn may still result in a successful product liability lawsuit.
For example, if an outdoor cleaning product is designed to be used in the open air and has risks of combustion when used in an indoor space, it is reasonably foreseeable that a consumer may use an outdoor cleaning product to clean an indoor space. As such, a company must also warn about hazards associated with that reasonably foreseeable use of the product.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Santa Fe
If you or somebody you love sustained serious injuries because of a defect in a consumer product, you may be eligible to file a claim for financial compensation. As discussed above, product liability claims are one type of personal injury lawsuit, and an experienced Santa Fe personal injury attorney can assess your case. Contact Slate Stern Law to learn more about your options for seeking compensation.