Contemporary technology allows consumers to buy products from all over the world. Though shoppers may be influenced by advertisements or recommendations, the majority of purchasers, especially ones shopping online, still conduct some research before buying a product. After making an informed decision and the purchase is made, the modern shopper should feel confident the seller is acting in good faith. But what happens if the manufacturer or retailer is negligent? If that’s the case, it’s always a good idea to contact a lawyer who focuses on defective product cases.
The law provides a recourse when a consumer is injured. Below are a couple of questions to ask before filing a personal injury suit as the result of a defective product.
Who is the Injured Party?
A wide variety of people take action in the case of product liability. The plaintiff, the person who sustained the injury, is most likely the purchaser of the product. But other potential plaintiffs could be those who are merely bystanders or another user of the product. They are also able to file suit if they suffer injury.
For example, a woman purchases a vacuum cleaner that is used by her husband and the rest of the family. She is unaware that it has a faulty electrical cord. If the vacuum malfunctions while her husband is using it and he gets burned or shocked, he can file a lawsuit. If their son uses the vacuum and is injured, he can file suit or the parents can do the same if the child is a minor.
Who is the Appropriate Defendant?
Just as the field of plaintiffs can be diverse, the same can be said for defendants – those being sued for compensation. There is no need to spend time tracking down the manufacturer of the defective product. A plaintiff has the right to file a suit against the “familiar face”, meaning they can file against the retailer who sold the product.
Any party of the commercial chain can be sued as long as two conditions are met.
- The product was defective when it left the control of that party.
- The party is in the business of selling the product. It doesn’t matter if the sale is to other retailers or directly to the customer.
Let’s use the same example above using the vacuum cleaner. Every company involved in that chain of commerce handling the defective vacuum is liable. If the vacuum’s cord, before installation, was deemed safe, the manufacturer of the cord can’t be sued. The defect occurred after leaving their control. Ultimately, the plaintiff would need to determine where in the chain the defect arose, and attempt to hold this party liable.
There are other considerations to take into account such as negligence, warranties, and strict liability. The process can be complicated, so it’s a good idea to contact an experienced attorney before taking any action.
Contact Us Today in Vero Beach
Injury as a result of a product’s defect is unexpected. If you have been injured in Vero Beach, it is best that you work with a reputable attorney at Vocelle & Berg, LLP. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.