Who Is Liable if a Product Is Defective?

According to reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 29.4 million injuries are reported yearly in the United States due to defective or malfunctioning products. More than 20,000 people end up dying as a result of the injuries that they suffer. 

The time after an accident involving a defective product can be incredibly challenging for victims and their families. Should you suffer debilitating injuries due to a defective product, you have the right to seek compensation. Several parties may be held liable for the injuries and damages that you have suffered. 

Filing a defective product lawsuit can help you seek financial compensation while holding the negligent party accountable. One of the most crucial things you will need to do after your accident is to identify who is at fault, and a lawyer specializing in defective products can help you determine who you may pursue a claim against.

What is a Defective Product?

A product is considered to be defective if it fails to meet the minimum standards of quality and safety set by the government or by the manufacturer. When a product is deemed to be faulty, it may be recalled by the manufacturer, or the government may make a recall order. There are several ways that a product can be defective. These include:

  • Design: A defective design occurs when a product is not designed properly and causes injury or damage to the user. A company may not follow proper safety guidelines during the design process or they may use materials that are not up to applicable standards.
  • Manufacturing: The product was manufactured in a way that rendered it unsafe for consumers. Manufacturing defects occur when products do not meet safety standards set forth by the manufacturer.
  • Marketing defect: The product warning labels or instructions are inadequate to prevent a consumer from misusing the product. Warnings and instructions must be clear and concise so that consumers can understand them easily. If warnings and instructions are insufficient, consumers may not be able to avoid potential dangers posed by using products safely.

When a product is defective and inflicts harm upon a consumer, the injured party has the legal right to file a claim. It is crucial to identify who is liable so you know who you can file a claim against. 

Potential Liable Parties

After being injured as a result of the defective product, you may be able to file a claim against the responsible party. There are various parties that can be considered for liability when it comes to a defective product case. These include:

  • Manufacturer: The process of distribution generally begins with the company that creates the product. When the manufacturer uses inadequate materials or creates a flawed product, they may be held responsible for any resulting injuries or damages. 
  • The retailer: When a retailer offers a product for sale to consumers, they do so by reassuring them that the product is safe for consumer use. Suppose a consumer purchases the product from the seller and suffers an injury as a result of the product being defective or malfunctioning. In that case, the retailer may be held liable for the resulting damages. 
  • The marketing company: If product defects arise during the marketing and design phase, the marketing company or any consultants may be held liable for any injuries or damages a consumer suffers.

It is in your best interest to get guidance of an experienced products liability lawyer as soon as possible to help determine who is liable for your damages. Your attorney will create a strong case for you to seek compensation for your injuries. 

Seeking Compensation for your Damages

 You have the right to seek compensation for your damages following an injury caused by a defective product. These include:

  • Lost wages and lost earnings, depending on the time you have to remain out of work.
  • The property damages you suffered as a result of the defective product.
  • Medical costs, both immediate and long-term.
  • And more.

If you have sustained injuries resulting from a defective product, contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation. For more than five decades, our Virginia product liability lawyers at Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law have been helping victims protect their legal rights after suffering debilitating injuries. Our team is available to help you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries.


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