Proving Product Liability Claim In Rhode Island

If you have been injured and suffered damages from a product you believe was defective, then you can sue for a product liability claim.

product liability claim

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In trying to determine whether you have a product liability claim, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the laws so as to prepare your case. The details of what you have to prove can vary from one state to another but in Rhode Island you must be able to prove:

  1. You were using the product as per the instructions of the manufacturer
  2. The fault in the product caused your injury
  3. The product was defective
  4. You suffered a loss or you were injured.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the above points.

You Were Using The Product As Per The Instructions Of The Manufacturer

In short you must have used the product according to the way the manufacturer intended all the consumers to use it. For instance, if you were using a new water-boiling kettle to heat the water in the swimming pool and it exploded causing extreme burns, then you cannot hold the manufacturer of the kettle legally responsible for your injuries. This is because an ordinary consumer would not use the kettle for the purpose you were using it for and the manufacturer did not specifically indicate in the instructions that you could use the kettle to heat the swimming pool.

If, however, you bought a pair of rose clippers and the manufacturer claimed that they were “cool for cutting roses”, you can hold them legally responsible for your injuries if the blade snaps while you were cutting chives and it fell on your eyeball thus causing permanent blindness in that eye. You can prove product liability in such a case even if you did not use the clippers to cut roses.

The Fault In Your Product Caused Your Injury

You have to demonstrate that the defect in the product is what caused your injury rather than just claiming that the product caused your injury. For example, if you were driving a car that is vulnerable to flipping when turning corners, and there is proof that you were speeding, it may be hard to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car for product liability because they will argue the accident was due to your reckless driving.

However, if you bought an electric kettle, and the position of the steam valve was not where it is expected to be so you suffered severe burns, then you can file for a product liability claim because this would be an easy and straightforward case to prove; unless the manufacturer issued the product with instructions and red caution stickers indicating that the valve may be positioned elsewhere other than where you expect it to be.

The Product Was Defective

Depending on the type of claim that you are making, it may not be easy to prove that the product, which caused your injuries, was defective.

1. Manufacturing Error

If you claim that the product was faulty because there was an error in making it, then proving that it was defective can be easy. For instance, the heating kettle developed a crack during the manufacturing process and this caused it to explode when used.

2. Design Defect

It may be a little harder to claim product liability if you claim that the product was correctly manufactured but the design was defective. You have to prove the product was unreasonably dangerous. For example, if you bought a modeling clay set that explodes when exposed to air, it would be easy to prove how dangerous the product was.

3. You Were Not Warned Of The Danger Of The Product

If the manufacture did not provide any warnings that the product could be potentially dangerous or its design may be defective in a way that is not obvious to the consumer, then you might have a case.

You Suffered A Loss

It is never enough to claim that an injury nearly happened to you. For instance, if you bought an electric heater and it exploded as you were using it because there was a hairline crack at the bottom, but you jumped out of the way in time before suffering third degree burns, you cannot claim product liability.

Get Help

Making sure that your product claim includes all the above factors can be very tricky. If a defective product has injured you, contact one of our expert product liability lawyers for a free initial consultation.

Call us at 401-751-0101 or fill out our online forms today.

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