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Common Defenses in a Product Liability Case

Posted on : April 12, 2023Posted By : Russell HillPosted In : Product Liability

If you use a product responsibly and follow the instructions, you should reasonably expect the product won’t cause harm. Unfortunately, it’s possible to be injured when using a product that’s defective or poorly designed.

Maybe this has happened to you. If so, you may be eligible for compensation. By filing a claim with the insurance of the negligent party who allowed you to be harmed (such as the product’s manufacturers, designers, or marketers), you could pursue financial compensation for your medical bills and related losses.

Be aware that an insurance company may not immediately pay out what you’re seeking. Instead, they may attempt to employ a variety of defenses or arguments to suggest that you are not owed compensation. Common defenses an insurer or liable party might use in these circumstances include the following:

Assumption of Risk

Some products inherently carry with them a degree of risk or danger. For example, a child’s toy should not be expected to hurt anyone if used properly. A chainsaw, on the other hand, is a product that could naturally cause injury in many potential ways.

Depending on what type of product you were using when you were injured, the insurance company or negligent party’s lawyers might argue that you knowingly took a risk when using a product that had the potential to cause harm. They might further argue that you haven’t provided evidence showing your injury resulted from a design flaw or defect.

Misuse of a Product

Many products can theoretically cause harm to a user if they are used improperly. This is why it’s very important to closely follow the manufacturer’s directions when using any product.

If you’re injured after using a product and you file a claim or lawsuit seeking compensation, the target of your claim might argue there’s reason to believe you were injured because you were misusing the product, and not because the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous. You must be prepared to guard against such accusations if they aren’t based in truth.

Other Forms of Negligence

It’s essential to behave responsibly in all ways when using products that could cause harm. If it’s determined that you were behaving negligently in any capacity when you were injured using a product, you may struggle to secure the amount of compensation you think you deserve.

For example, maybe you were drinking a beer or two before doing work on your home that involved use of a ladder. If you sustained an injury using the ladder, it would be easy for an insurance company to suggest you were negligent because you knew you may have been intoxicated when you decided to use a potentially dangerous product.

A Lawyer Can Help

These are just a few examples of common defenses in product liability cases. The main point to understand is that you need to be prepared for an insurance company to potentially push back when you file a claim.

One way to prepare is to enlist the help of a lawyer. At Russell & Hill, our Washington product liability attorneys are on hand to offer the representation you deserve. To learn more, call us at 800-529-0842.

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