Consumers are the most valued asset for any business, be it a retailer or a manufacturer. And likely they go a long way to make their customers feel special.
While some offer special discounts and bundled packages, others take a leap of faith. In the end, it is the experience of the consumers that either make or break a brand.
One of the major factors that build up a buyer’s experience is the quality of the product. Several studies reveal that a high-quality product is more likely to earn customer loyalty for the brands. On the contrary, a flawed product may also tarnish the brand’s image.
Regardless, it is in fact, the consumer that has to suffer the most whenever a product fails to deliver its intended purpose.
What is product failure?
It needs no mention that every product in the market has some purpose that it needs to serve. For example, a bar of soap is meant to clean and refresh the user. Likewise, Shampoos are meant to clean, soften, and care for the hair of the users. But, when these products harm instead of caring for the users, the instance is termed as product failure.
In simple terms, if a product fails to perform adequately its purpose, it falls under the product failure clause.
It is noteworthy that not all product failures are equally liable. It requires intense scrutiny, as explained by the experts at Preszler Law, to determine if a product failure has harmed someone. Depending on the extent of damage, a personal injury claim can be made against the liable source.
What to do when a product fails?
It is not uncommon for products to fail when in use. With every product there comes a limited liability that is covered legally. For example, if a fan is inefficient in pushing the air around, it can be exchanged under warranty or can be repaired. There is no necessary damage that it has caused, although this also comes under product failure.
It is thus necessary to understand what product failures can be claimed legally.
Know the type of product failure
Typically, when considering filing for product liability and mass tort claims, the failure in some way must harm the user. But then again, the extent of damage can be vivid. For example, some product failures may cause the user a financial loss. On the other hand, some product failures may cause physical or mental injury to the user. The extreme case could be when a user may die an undue death.
Notably, these product failures could be due to several reasons. Some of the common product failure categories are listed below:
1. Design Failure: The foremost is when a product is not aptly designed. For example, an inappropriate design of car brakes may lead to product failure. And subsequently, the user may end up sustaining life-threatening injuries.
2. Manufacturing Defects: Another common reason for product failure could be due to the ineffective manufacturing process. There could be quality compromises in the material used. For example, a bike manufacturer fails to assemble the different parts aptly.
3. Failure To Share Proper Information: Lastly, the manufacturer or the retailer needs to share proper usage information with their products. Any failure to do so may cause user loss and suffering. A typical example of this could be when a battery manufacturer fails to share proper discarding information.
Fighting a product liability claim
The nutshell of all the discussion until now is that the users can file a lawsuit to claim compensation. And the business owners need to be wary of these lawsuits.
When faced with a product liability lawsuit, there are some steps that business owners can take.
Contact the insurance company
The very first step and, of course, the most important one is to contact the insurer. Business owners usually have their products and services insured. And thankfully, whenever faced with a product liability claim the compensation is most likely to be covered by the insurer.
Another benefit that an insurer can offer to businesses is covering the costs of courtroom trials.
Consult with a lawyer
Regardless, an experienced legal attorney can prove to be the most helpful resource when fighting a product liability claim. Not only can they help fight the case in the courtroom, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can also help with the procedures. It needs no mention that legal procedures can be tricky for someone who has no experience. And more so, any wrong step could have drastic consequences.
Consulting with a lawyer, business owners can even navigate and explore their alternatives. We shall be discussing them in the next section.
Look for an out-of-court settlement
In most cases, a legal attorney would suggest seeking an out-of-court settlement. The plaintiff would be offered monetary compensation from the defendant. However, whether to accept the offer or to reject it rests with the defendant.
Once again, a lawyer can prove to be of great help when deciding the compensation value. Lawyers usually work in harmony with the insurance companies for the same. In most cases, there can be some sort of negotiations between the plaintiff and the defendant. Nevertheless, seeking an out-of-court settlement can be an economical option against fighting a courtroom trial.
The manufacturer is not always liable
Another important factor in product failure claims is deciding the liability. Not all failures are the manufacturer’s liability. Some of the product failures are attributed to sellers or retailers. For example, if an expired consumable is sold to a user, the manufacturer may escape the liability claim. On the contrary, the seller or the retailer would be held liable in this case. For this reason, the seller failed to communicate the right information to the buyer.
Product liability is a serious concern and manufacturers, as well as, retailers need to be aware of it. While there can always be a constant threat for business owners, communicating and keeping the consumers happy is the most effective way out of this trouble.
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