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How can I prove fault in a product liability lawsuit?

People are often surprised to learn that it is not very difficult to receive compensation after being hurt by a dangerous or defective product. There are different rules that apply in these cases that don't in other personal injury cases.

Strict liability is the most common legal theory that applies in product liability claims. What this means is that the injured party doesn't have to prove the manufacturer was negligent or careless producing the product.

However, it can be burdensome and costly for a consumer to have to demonstrate negligence. Consumers also don't have to prove that retailers had systems in place to detect defects and don't have to have checked the product themselves for any hazards.

Those who are injured by products can seek compensation from the business or the manufacturer for their injuries and damages if all the below conditions are met:

-- The item had an "unreasonably dangerous" flaw in its design or that occurred while it was being produced, handled or shipped, and that defect caused your injury.

-- You were injured while using the product as it was supposed to be used.

-- You hadn't substantially altered its original condition to affect its performance.

A defense to strict liability theory is that the consumer was aware of the defect yet used the product anyway. If the seller or manufacturer can prove that you had knowledge of the flaw yet disregarded it, you may no longer have a cause of action.

To learn more about the laws governing product liability in the state of Illinois, contact a legal professional for guidance.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in a Product Liability Case," accessed June 05, 2015

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