Manufacturers of consumer products are expected to warn their consumers about the potential dangers of their products. That way the customers can make informed decisions when using those products. In fact, if you are injured by a product that did not come with an adequate warning, you can claim injury damages against the responsible parties. Here are some of the things you should know about such an injury claim:
1. Strict Liability Applies In Most States
Failure to warn injury laws are determined at the state level, and most states give it a strict liability treatment. Under strict product liability rules, an injury victim doesn't have to prove that the defendant acted negligently (as is the case with ordinary negligence laws); in this case, it is enough for the victim to prove that the product did not have the relevant warning, and the lack of or inadequacy of the warning resulted in an injury.
2. Was the Injury Obvious? – Is a Key Question
Product liability laws are designed to provide injury victims with compensation while, at the same time, protecting manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits. This is why you cannot be compensated for cutting yourself with a knife; it is obvious (or, at least it should be obvious) to anybody using a knife that the product is sharp and can lead to cut injuries. This is why product manufacturers are only expected to warn about dangers that aren't exactly obvious. Unfortunately, not all cases are that clear-cut; there are many cases in which it is not exactly clear whether a risk was obvious or not. Indeed, this is one of the battles you should expect to face when pursuing a failure-to-warn injury claim.
3. The Warning Must Be Easy To See and Understand
It is not just enough for a manufacturer to issue a warning; the warning must be written in a legible manner and a conspicuous place. It should also be written in a language that the intended audience can understand. Therefore, if a product does come with a warning, but the warning is buried in several pages of instructions for use, then the warning can be deemed as inadequate. Similarly, a warning written exclusively in French for a product sold to an English speaking country may be deemed inadequate.
4. The Defendant's Ignorance Is Not a Defense
Lastly, you should know that a manufacturer cannot just escape liability by claiming that they didn't know their product was dangerous. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to investigate and test their products to understand all their potential risks so that they can warn the public about the risks.
To learn more, contact an injury lawyer.