Last month, RecallMasters reported that Ford Motor Company issued a mass recall for nearly 1.3 million vehicles. According to the report, the vehicles are equipped with faulty door latches that are susceptible to water damage. When the latches become damaged, they can prevent a door from closing properly or from being opened. This can have devastating effects for occupants of a vehicle after a crash. While no accidents and/or injuries have been tied to this defect yet, there is a potentially dangerous situation for certain Ford owners. If this defect, left untreated, results in injuries the victim could potentially recover compensation from Ford.
Purpose of Product Recalls in San Diego
Companies like Ford issue product recalls for two primary purposes. The first is the reduce the risk of harm defective products pose. The second is to limit the company’s own liability for injuries caused by those products. Ford undoubtedly issued the recall because they had an interest in keeping their customers safe and limiting their own future liability if those latches resulted in serious accidents.
Product recalls do not eliminate the company’s liability for accidents and injuries. Similarly, product recalls do not automatically mean that accident victims will be successful if they file a product liability lawsuit against them. Victims may be able to use the recall as evidence but will still be required to prove each element of a product liability lawsuit.
Liability for Defective Products
Companies like Ford who design, manufacture, and distribute products are responsible for making sure that those products are safe. When these products are defective they can cause serious injuries. The victims of these injuries can then file personal injury claims based on product liability to recover the damages they suffer.
In San Diego, there are different ways a victim can hold a negligent company responsible for their defective products. There are three main types of product liability lawsuits:
- Manufacturing Defect
- Design Defect, and
- Failure to Warn.
Manufacturing defects occur when a product differs from its design or other units that are produced on the same product line. In simpler terms, a manufacturing defect exists when a product does not function properly or is not built as designed. Design defects occur when the actual design and engineering of a product create a dangerous situation. A failure to warn occurs when a product lacks safety warnings and instructions to warn about potential risks or danger in using that product.
Recovering Compensation in a Product Liability Lawsuit
Victims injured because of a recalled product may be able to recover money from the company that designed, manufactured, or sold that product. While the fact that a recall was issued can be persuasive, it may not automatically mean that a company will be found liable in a civil product liability lawsuit. A product liability lawsuit can be successful if the victim can prove:
- They used a product in a reasonably foreseeable way;
- They were harmed when using that product;
- The product was sold/manufactured/designed by the defendant; and
- The product was defective or lacked proper warnings.
Product liability lawsuits are unlike other personal injury lawsuits because they are generally not based on negligence. Victims do not have to prove that the company that made or sold the defective product breached a duty of care to its customers when it put the product on the market. Instead, victims must only prove that they suffered an injury because of that company’s product.
Filing a Lawsuit For a Recalled Product
If you have been injured because of a recalled product you may be able to recover compensation from the company responsible for that defect. A product liability lawsuit can be filed against the company that designed, manufactured, and/or sold you that defective product. These lawsuits can allow you to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress. Your chances of recovering a meaningful settlement or award increase when you hire an attorney to handle your case. Contact our experienced San Diego recalled product injury lawyers today to set up a free consultation. We will review your case, determine potential liability, and explain the process of filing a claim for damages.