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Wrongful Death: Defective Product

The death of a loved one is heartbreaking and painful. This is an event in our lives that we had always hoped would never happen. When that death wasn’t due to natural causes, but rather a defective product, it can be especially unfortunate.

Some products are naturally dangerous such as a kitchen knife. However, consumers don’t expect to suffer injuries while using a product that is made to keep us safe or has promised us to be safe to use. Unfortunately, some still end up paying the price for home appliances, automobiles, medical devices, and several other products that fail or became more dangerous than it was supposed to be.

Product manufacturers need to ensure that their products are safe from defects that may cause injury or death. When companies fail in this duty, it is their customers that end up paying the price. However, the survivors of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to the financial compensation needed to recover.

A wrongful death due to a defective product can happen because of any of the following:

  • Defective auto parts including malfunctioning brakes, tires, and other auto components.

  • Industrial machinery

  • Children’s products such as highchairs, cribs, and toys

  • Medical devices like defibrillators and cardiac pumps.

Any of these products can malfunction seriously enough to cause an injury or even death to the person using it. For example, a car with malfunctioning airbags can place a driver or passenger at serious risk of injuries or fatalities in an accident.

Why Should You File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a person ends up suffering fatal injuries because of a defective product, survivors may have legal grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against a number of parties responsible for your loved one’s death. However, the survivor must file a wrongful death lawsuit within a period of two years after the death has occurred. So should you file? A wrongful death claim can help survivors of the deceased recover compensation for damages including:

  • Medical expenses that the deceased incurred before death

  • Lost wages

  • Lost income

  • Funeral costs

Often, defective products are recalled from the market once the defect or problem has been realized. However, this usually doesn’t happen until the product has already injured and killed several people. Even when a company recalls a product due to its defective nature, survivors of those who have died may still be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Just because the company has recalled the product does not absolve them of liability for any injuries or deaths linked to the product.

Who Can Be Included In A Defective Product Claim

There are several parties that might be liable when a defective product causes a wrongful death. Besides the manufacturer of the product, a wrongful death claim can also include parties that were responsible for distributing the product. For example, if the wrongful death occurred in a car accident involving a defective brake, the lawsuit can include the manufacturer of the brakes and the auto manufacturer.

Proving that your loved one’s death was at the result of the company’s negligence in selling a defective product is not so easy. A wrongful death claim based on product liability laws may require investigations of the product and input and expert analysis from doctors, engineers, and other professionals to confirm that the product was the cause of their death.