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How Liability is Determined in a Defective Product Accident

Posted on March 10, 2023

Dangerous and defective products sometimes make their way to consumers, causing injuries. There are laws in place that protect the consumer, so if they suffer an injury because of a product that was unsafe or defective, they may file a product liability claim. This claim would compensate them for injuries and damages sustained because of the defective product.

Laws in each state differ when it comes to the responsibilities of manufacturers and sellers. Proving liability in a product defect case can be complicated. In the state of Illinois, three types of product liability claims are allowed.

Illinois Strict Liability Policy

The term “strict liability” indicates that manufacturers, distributors, or the store that is selling the product can be considered liable if the product causes someone harm. The plaintiff must be able to prove that the following three components were present:

  • The plaintiff’s injury happened because of a product defect or the condition the product was in.
  • There was unreasonable danger due to the defect in the product
  • The defect or problem with the product was present while it was in the hands of the defendant.

Strict liability is a way to prove that the problems with the product could be expected to hurt someone, and they sell it to consumers nonetheless.

Proving Negligence in Illinois Product Defect Lawsuits

Confirming negligence entails proving that the defendant did not exert an appropriate standard of care in the design, production, or distribution process. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent and this led to the product causing injuries.

Three elements must be demonstrated to prove a negligence claim:

  1. For a negligence claim, the injured person must show that a duty of care was owed to them.
  2. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty of care.
  3. It must be demonstrated that the injuries sustained by the plaintiff were a direct result of the breach of duty.

In both strict liability and negligence claims, the plaintiff is responsible for proving that they were harmed because of the product defect.

Breach of Warranty in Illinois Product Defect Cases

A breach of warranty deems an indicated, written, or verbal communication of contractual standards that were unmet. In a breach of a warranty claim, there are two types:

  • Express warranty means there was a written or verbal warranty that was offered with the product, and an injury occurred because of the product anyway.
  • Implied warranty means that consumers expect the product to meet the required minimum safety standards for it to be sold to consumers.

What this simply means is that you trust that you are being sold a safe product.

Product Defects Can Cause Harm to Consumers in Illinois

The plaintiff is tasked with proving their injuries were caused because of the product’s defect. Three product defects can be to blame:

  1. Design defects or flaws in the design of the product, when there was a safer way to design it, would not drive the price of manufacturing the product up so high that it was impractical to create.
  2. Manufacturing defects, or when the product defect is created defectively in the manufacturing or assembly process, means that the product was sold but not how it was intended by the designer.
  3. Marketing defects happen when the buyer of the product fails to be given a warning about possible hazards created by the use or the ownership of the product.

Let us Uncomplicate Your Product Defect Lawsuits.

Product defect lawsuits can be complex, and since the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, they can also feel overwhelming. Having an attorney with experience in product liability cases can offer you peace of mind. Our personal injury team at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, Trial Attorneys understands how the law works regarding product defects, and we will work diligently to ensure you are compensated for the injuries you sustained.