What to do when a sold good does you more harm than good

When you purchase a product from a store shelf, you naturally expect the product to function correctly and serve its purpose. The last thing you would likely expect the product to do is injure you. Unfortunately, sometimes the very products created to help you end up harming you instead.

Dangerous products lead to thousands of injuries in the United States each year, including in New York. If you have suffered an injury due to a defective sold good, you have the right to seek justice through the legal system.

Product liability law

According to product liability law, products have to meet the consumer's ordinary expectations. When products feature unexpected dangers or defects, they fail to meet this requirement.

Liability for a dangerous product may rest with any responsible party in the product distribution chain. These parties may include, for example, the manufacturer of the product or the manufacturer of components of the product. Other parties include the wholesaler, the party that installs or assembles the product, or the retail shop that ended up selling the product to consumers.

Types of defects

If you have been hurt due to using a defective product, you have the right to file a product liability claim against the responsible party, seeking damages. To prevail in your case, you have to offer proof that the product leading to your injury had a defect and that this defect caused the product to be unreasonably dangerous.

Three kinds of defects may cause you to suffer injuries for which you can hold a supplier or manufacturer liable:

  • Manufacturing defect: a defect that occurs during the course of the assembly or manufacture of a product
  • Design defect: a defect that is present in the product from the start, even before the manufacturing stage; something in the product design is unsafe
  • Marketing defect: a defect in how the product is marketed -- for example, insufficient safety warnings, improper labeling or inadequate instructions

Monetary damages

If you are successful in your product liability lawsuit in New York, you may receive a monetary damage award. Financial damages cannot undo the events that led to your injury stemming from a defective sold good. However, damages can help you to cover the cost of treating your injury and even address pain and suffering resulting from the use of the dangerous product.

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