Many consumers end up with minor injuries from products, but when the harm inflicted by a bad product is serious, you have the right to take action. You have a right to expect safe products when you spend your money and not to have to suffer from the misery of a physical or emotional injury. Read on to learn more about how warranties and disclaimers affect your chances of being paid money damages when a bad product injures you.
Implied Product Warranties
When you think about warranties, you might be thinking about how you are protected against a product malfunctioning for a certain period of time. Implied warranties are different and really more important. This type of warranty is the unwritten assumption that a product is safe and hazard-free. For example, a warranty may not explicitly state that sharp objects won't fly out of it and injure or kill you, but you nevertheless expect that, say, your vehicle airbags, will perform to a certain standard. Implied warranties provide blanket protection to consumers because of expectations that safety standards have been met. The manufacturers have expectations as well. You must use the product as directed, or the implied warranty is null and void. This brings up the issue of disclaimers.
Product safety testing (and, in some cases, common sense) will often give rise to warnings on products. For example, all electrical goods sold have standard safety instructions and disclaimers. These warnings are often ignored by consumers, but when you are injured because you failed to observe the warning, your chances of filing a successful claim against the manufacturer are decreased. For example, if you used an electric flatiron in the tub, you won't have much of a course of action when it's dropped into the tub, causing electrocution.
On the other side of product liability issues are disclaimers that attempt to virtually eliminate all responsibility for any injuries whatsoever. General disclaimers are often considered too broad to be valid by the courts. You cannot, for example, say that an over-the-counter pain medication may cause harm and that by accepting that disclaimer you are giving up your rights to file a lawsuit. These broad disclaimers are an attempt by manufacturers to protect themselves from lawsuits. Unfortunately, many consumers who would have a decent chance in court are dissuaded by the disclaimer and never seek help from an attorney.
Speak to a personal injury attorney if you have been hurt by a product, regardless of the circumstances. Your case will be evaluated to determine your best course of action. You may be owed thousands in monetary damages but might never know about it if you don't take action.