There are many examples of product defects that can cause serious injury. For example, sometimes chemicals (such as roundup weed killer) can have unintended consequences – such as causing prostate cancer. These products work exactly as designed, and the defect that gives rise to a legal cause of action lies in the result of using them as the manufacturer intended.
Other times, the materials used in the manufacturing of a product can be faulty – such as when an artificial replacement hip comes apart and leaves dangerous fragments in a patient’s body. In this case, even if there was nothing wrong with the product’s design, the manufacturing defect still gives the injured victim the right to bring a product liability claim.
Products cause wide variety of injuries
Depending on the nature of the defect, product defects can result in a wide variety of injuries, including:
- Broken or severed limbs or digits
- Blunt force trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Cancer and other diseases
Some common issues with equipment that can lead to injuries on the job include equipment with faulty wiring, nonexistent guards, insufficient directions or defective power switches. Other common equipment problems include mechanical hazards, rotation motion hazards and the use of low-quality materials at the manufacturing stage.
Workers are more at risk in certain industries
If you work in a high-risk industry, like manufacturing or construction, you are at risk for a workplace injury every day. This risk increases if you deal with certain types of equipment and machinery to perform your duties. Even if you follow all safety protocols, sometimes equipment can unexpectedly malfunction, resulting in serious injuries for the user and for others around them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, 229,410 workplace injuries that resulted from contact with equipment or objects led to the injured worker needing time away from work. Although the manufacturers of workplace equipment have a duty to make sure their products are safe to use, certain types of defects can make injury more likely.
Defective design, manufacturing and marketing
If you sustain injuries at work because of a defective piece of equipment, the defect will typically fall under one of three categories: defective design, defective manufacturing or defective marketing.
Defective designs result in equipment that does not function as it should while manufacturing defects can affect the product at the time of creation. Marketing defects happen when the product’s manufacturer fails to provide adequate use or safety instruction.
If you are injured at work because of a defective product or piece of equipment, you could be eligible for damages. These damages may cover pain and suffering in addition to compensation for time off work and medical care.