People purchase and use products under the guise that the product will bring them joy, offer convenience, or improve their lives in one form or another. People do not invite these objects into their home with the thought that they might cause harm — or even death.
Each year, families are left to pick up the pieces of a loved one's death caused by a defective product. Although a difficult situation to navigate and process, in the midst of it all, it is important for these families to remember that they have rights.
A death caused by defective products falls under the product liability class of wrongful death lawsuits. There are two primary subsets of this form of liability, including design and manufacturing defects. To move forward with a claim, your loved one's death must be placed into one of these categories.
Product liability involving a design defect involves instances in which the design, or function, of the product, is hazardous. A baby toy with tiny detachable pieces would fit into this category. Manufacturing defects are the result of a mistake or poor-quality practices during the manufacturing of the product. Using too few or low-quality fasteners to secure a dresser or other large product would fit into this category.
Legal Grounds for a Complaint
Once you have determined that your loved one's death is linked to a product liability situation, you must determine whether or not you have legal grounds to file a complaint. The law varies in every state, but the ability to file a wrongful death complaint is often linked to your familial or financial relationship to the deceased.
Since there can be a great deal of grey area involving who is family and who is financially linked to a person, it is always best to let an attorney determine if you have the legal grounds to move forward.
Justice for your loved one is largely dependent on proving negligence, and it is important to understand that this is not a simple process. A wrongful death claim for product liability must first prove that the manufacturer of the product was aware of the exact concern that caused your loved one's death or aware of its possibility.
This level of proof is often enough to establish negligence, which makes it easier to establish responsibility. Similar to establishing your relationship with the deceased, an attorney is best suited to prove negligence.
If your family has experienced this unfortunate scenario, contact an attorney to learn more about your options and to ensure that your loved one's rights are protected.
For further information, reach out to a wrongful death lawyer near you.