Design Defects That Can Cause Injuries


There are a few different types of situations that can lead to a product liability claim, so it’s important to be able to distinguish between them. One type is a design defect that leads to the injuries and other damages of a consumer. It can affect just one consumer or several, which may lead to a class action lawsuit with multiple plaintiffs.

The following overview gives you a better understanding of what a design defect involves and how it differs from other types of defects.

used with permission from Millhaven Homes


What Is a Design Defect?

A design defect is a flaw in the design that creates an unnecessary risk to the user of the product. In order to file a claim on this basis, a plaintiff must be able to show that the defect was foreseeable and preventable by altering the design of the product. The suggested alteration must be cost-effective and must not alter the intended use of the product.

Proving a design flaw also requires establishing that the flaw raises risks to the user of the product when that product is used as intended by the manufacturer. For example, if you operate a metal fan without the safety guards in place, you cannot claim a design defect was to blame for the injuries that resulted when you accidentally touched the moving fan blades.

used with permission from Millhaven Homes

How Is a Manufacturing Defect Different?

A manufacturing defect is a different classification of product defects, referring to the production of the product instead of its design. In this situation, a product’s design may not be flawed, but something that occurs during the manufacturing process creates a dangerous situation for the user.

Unlike a design defect, a manufacturing defect can affect just one of the products in a series or the entire series. When there’s a flaw in the manufacturing process, this can affect every product that goes through this production process. However, flaws can also be the result of human or mechanical error.

For example, a wire short in a hairdryer is likely a one-time error, while a machine that improperly attaches the power cord will likely affect every hair dryer made on that production line.

used with permission from Millhaven Homes

What Damages Can You Claim as the Result of a Design Defect?

The damages you can claim in a defective product claim are similar to those sought in other types of personal injury claims. While your attorney can determine exactly which damages you can claim, there are some damages that are pursued in almost every injury claim of this type.

Defective design damages are listed below:

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Future need for medical care or therapy
  • Disability compensation
  • Loss of wages or employment
  • Damage or loss of property
  • Pain and suffering

Additionally, a design defect can sometimes lead to a wrongful death claim. In this case, a personal representative will seek the claim on behalf of the deceased individual. When the design defect leads to a death, additional damages can be sought that include compensation of funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, and loss of inheritance.

In this situation, there may still be a claim for damages in regard to the individual’s medical care if their death wasn’t immediate and they received medical care before they died. A personal injury lawyer can help you make that determination as well.

If you have suffered injuries as the result of a defective product, you should consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The initial consultation is usually free, and the attorney will use that opportunity to evaluate your case for you. Once you have a better understanding of the strength and value of your case, you can determine if pursuing a claim for damages is in your best interests. Thanks to the companies linked to above for consulting





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.