Millions of products are bought and used every year. Companies have a responsibility to the public to ensure these products are safe for consumers. Unfortunately, flawed products are sometimes released to the public, and that is why filing design defect cases is so important.
A design defect is a flaw in the actual design of the product, rather than a mistake in how it was produced. Products with design defects were manufactured correctly, but there is something inherently dangerous with the product’s design that makes it unsafe to use.
Design defects present a great danger because the consumer believes they are using a safe product. If you or a loved one were injured by a flawed product, you may have grounds to seek compensation in a design defect case.
The product liability attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can represent you in your case.
Examples of Design Defects
Design defects can range across all types of products, as can the threat they pose to consumers. Regardless of the extent of the injury a design defect causes, poorly designed products have no place in our homes.
Here are a few examples of design defects:
Structurally Unstable Products
Furniture with design defects are often structurally unstable. Some design defects cause irritation, such as a table designed with unequal leg lengths. However, at other times, design defects in heavy furniture can cause serious injury and even death.
In 2016, Ikea recalled over 27 million dressers due to a design defect that caused the deaths of eight children. When not mounted properly to a wall, the dressers were too top-heavy and prone to tipping over. Families of children that were injured or killed by these products were able to seek compensation in these design defect cases.
Design defects pose a serious threat to children in the form of choking hazards. Although we expect the toys we buy for our children to be inherently safe, oftentimes detachable components of toys or other children’s products can lead to serious injury and death.
Automobile Design Defects
Despite stringent federal safety regulations in the automobile industry, design defects in vehicles are still a leading cause of vehicle accidents. A design defect that’s been known to cause serious injury and death is a top-heavy design with a high center of gravity, leading vehicles to rollover.
Poorly designed auto parts are often recalled, but oftentimes it’s too late for many drivers who suffered the consequences of a flawed design in their vehicle. These consumers can file a design defect case to sue for injuries they’ve suffered.
Other instances that would be grounds for a design defect case include:
- A crib with bars that are far enough apart so that a child’s head can get caught in between the bars
- Power tools designed without a safety component to protect the user’s hands
- Cell phones or other electronics prone to melting or catching fire
What do I need to prove in a design defect case?
Retailers and manufacturers have a duty to consumers to design products that are safe and reliable. Unfortunately, there are companies that try to cut corners with poor designs and a lack of safety testing.
If you’ve been injured by a design defect, you may be able to recover damages. Design defect cases can be incredibly complex, so it’s important that you work with a lawyer with a proven track record of litigating against manufacturers and retailers.
To prove a design defect claim, our legal team will show:
- The product was designed as intended
- The inherent danger of the design when used as intended
- Proof of safer alternative designs that would have performed just as well
- Proof that the alternative design was cost-effective
- The product was being used as intended when it injured the plaintiff
The statute of limitations for defective designs varies based on state, so it’s imperative that you contact a product liability lawyer as soon as possible.
Should I hire an attorney in a design defect case?
Proving a defective design case can be challenging and complex. However, when you have an experienced product liability lawyer on your side, you stand the best chance of recovering damages for your loss.
The legal team at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath handles product liability cases in Florida and across the country. We have successfully litigated hundreds of product liability cases against nationally-known manufacturers. We’re not afraid to hold manufacturers, distributors, and retailers accountable for defective designs and aggressively fight for justice on behalf of our clients.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a defective design, call us today at (561) 655-1990 to schedule a risk-free case evaluation.
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