What Is Product Liability?

What Is Product Liability?

  • The Fee Is Free Unless You Win®.
  • America's Largest Injury Law Firm™
  • Protecting Families Since 1988
  • 20 Billion+ Won
  • 1,000+ Lawyers Nationwide

Free Case Evaluation

Tell us about your situation so we can get started fighting for you. We tailor each case to meet our clients' needs.
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
Our results speak for themselves

The attorneys featured above are licensed in Florida. For a full list of attorneys in your state please visit our attorney page.

What Is Product Liability?

If you were hurt by a dangerous or defective product, you likely have questions about what it means to file a lawsuit and whether or not you have grounds to pursue potential compensation. This falls under the legal umbrella known as “product liability.” Product liability refers to defective or dangerous products, and such are the causes of thousands of accidents and even fatalities every single year across the United States. 

Product liability law is related to, but also distinct from, personal injury law in which you may choose to file a lawsuit against a responsible party, such as a person who is driving drunk or a property manager who failed to maintain a safe property. Product liability law has to do with all of the legal rules related to who is accountable for dangerous or defective products. 

This can make it simpler for a hurt victim to recover damages, especially when they have the insight and support of an experienced product liability lawyer. 

What Is Product Liability: Who Are the Responsible Parties? 

The product in question must have been sold in order for it to become the basis of a product liability lawsuit. A historically contractual relationship needs to be present between the supplier of the product and the person injured by the product in order for a lawsuit to exist. Most states do not require this specifically, meaning that the injured party no longer has to be the person who used or purchased the product. 

Any person who reasonably could have been injured due to a dangerous product can potentially recover for their injuries, so long as the item was ultimately sold to someone at some point in the process. This means that there could be more than one party responsible for the injuries sustained by a person who is hurt in a product liability lawsuit. This requires a thorough investigation by a product liability lawyer at the outset of the case. 

Liability for a defective product could lay with a wholesaler, the person who installs or assembles the product, a manufacturer of component parts, the product manufacturer, or the retail store who sold that item to the consumer. More than one of these parties could also be responsible at the same time, making it all the more important to retain a product liability lawyer to help you with this process. 

What Are the Types of Product Defects? 

When considering what product liability is, product defects come to mind. These are the legal grounds under which you can show that a product was improperly manufactured or sold to you, meaning that you have grounds to pursue a lawsuit. The three types of product defects are manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects. Manufacturing defects are those that occur in the process of assembly or manufacture, meaning that some error occurred in the manufacturing process that left you suffering the consequences. Design defects exist in the product from the time that it has been developed, meaning that the error occurred prior to manufacturing since something in the design is unsafe on its own. Finally, marketing defects can also apply which refer to mistakes in the way that a product has been promoted, such as insufficient instructions, improper labelling, or inappropriate safety warnings. One or more elements of these product defects may apply in your product liability case. 

Determining Responsibility

As you seek to learn the answer to what is product liability, you need to identify the liable parties. The rule of strict liability might apply, and this helps many plaintiffs in recovery in their cases. You should also anticipate that the other side will fight back vigorously when it comes to defending this lawsuit. 

They may allege that you used the product improperly, and that is why you are suffering the consequences in terms of a serious injury. This makes it very important to have a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney, who has been through this process before, who can help guide you through the legal responsibility clarifications, and who can help you to recover compensation. 

How Do I Know I Should File a Lawsuit? 

When a product does not function as you expected and you are dealing with the consequences as a user of that product, or are dealing with property damage or injuries because of the product's malfunction, this information can form the basis of a product liability lawsuit. It is your job to show how any individuals involved in the chain of distribution or manufacturing are responsible for the injuries you sustained, so a thorough and full investigation of the entire situation needs to occur as soon as possible. You also might want to consult with a product liability lawyer to understand the timelines that could apply in your case. 

What to Know About Timelines 

Much like personal injury, timelines exist so that you must file a lawsuit within a timely manner. This also means that you can get your chance at recovering compensation and receiving justice sooner rather than later. Many companies named in a product liability lawsuit might choose to try to settle the case outside of court due to the uncertainty of going to trial. 

You can expect that any of these settlement offers will be presented to you by your product liability lawyer so that you can make an informed decision about what is right for you. There are many different factors to consider in deciding whether or not you will be fully or fairly compensated by a settlement offer. Most insurance companies try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge about the long term costs associated with your injuries and will therefore try to present a low ball settlement offer. 

This can be a very frustrating experience, but thankfully when you have a knowledgeable product liability attorney engaged to work with you from the outset of your case, you can greatly decrease the possibility of dealing with these situations. 

It is not a good idea to manage your product liability case on your own. It can be very confusing to do so and you want a professional to help represent your interests. Hiring the right lawyer can discourage the other side from wanting to go to trial, too. They might be more open to scheduling settlement conversations when they know that you’re taking your product liability case seriously. 

Who you choose as a lawyer has a big impact on the outcome of your case.

Scroll down for more

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

What Is Product Liability? - FAQ

  • What Should I Look for in a Product Liability Lawyer?

    Look for an attorney who has extensive experience in the realm of the product liability law. Ideally, they will have handled many cases like this before and will be thoroughly knowledgeable about some of the key defect issues in the case. They should also be familiar with many of the most common tactics used by insurance companies (or other people involved in the chain of distribution) to downplay your injuries or try to convince you that your case is not worthwhile. It can be an uphill battle for you to attempt to handle these aspects of your legal claim on your own, but thankfully, the support of a dedicated attorney can make a big difference in helping you navigate such tactics. 

    Your lawyer should also have compassion and consideration of the injuries that you have sustained directly as a result of this accident. Even if the company that manufactured the defective product is trying to deny liability and say that your injuries are not as severe as you attest, your lawyer should be empathetic with how this has changed your life and should fight hard on your behalf throughout the duration of your case. 

    This includes giving you information about whether or not a settlement offer is fair or would fully compensate you for your injuries and providing you with any other important details that you might need to know when it comes to moving forward with a legal claim. There are many different things to think about in this process and you do not want to find yourself overwhelmed or making mistakes. Hire an experienced product liability lawyer to assist you.  

  • Contact Morgan & Morgan

    If you need more information about your product liability claim, you can contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.

Scroll down for more Load More

How it works

It's easy to get started.
The Fee Is Free Unless You Win®.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

  • Step 1

    your claim

    With a free case evaluation, submitting your case is easy with Morgan & Morgan.

  • Step 2

    We take

    Our dedicated team gets to work investigating your claim.

  • Step 3

    We fight
    for you

    If we take on the case, our team fights to get you the results you deserve.



Customer Story

“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

Client success
stories that inspire and drive change

Explore over 55,000 5-star reviews and 800 client testimonials to discover why people trust Morgan & Morgan.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. Based on Select nationwide reviews

  • Video thumbnail for 5l3q2e67j8
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for yfe952tcop
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for z1bqwg9hkl
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for s5nb3hnvkv
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for t4elibxene
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for 5nr9efxqj3
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for e8s1x6u5jp
    Wistia video play button