Product and Premises Liability Claims: What Are They and Who Can Be Held Responsible?

Feb 15, 2022

Personal injuries happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of personal injury are dangerously defective products and unsafe properties. If you’ve been hurt by a malfunctioning product or suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages and the pain and suffering you’ve endured.

Defining Product Liability

Product liability is a legal incentive for manufacturers and sellers to design, produce and distribute products that are safe to use. If for some reason a product is defective and ends up injuring someone, the responsible companies can be held financially liable for the injuries their hazardous product caused.

Although there are a number of consumer product safety acts and a federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, many statutes that govern how people can pursue compensation for product injuries are state laws.

Unlike many types of personal injury claims that require negligence, product liability claims can be based on either negligence or strict liability. That means it’s possible to hold manufacturers financially liable for injuries without proving they were negligent.

Under Georgia law, many products sold to the public are covered by an implied warranty, even if they don’t come with any tangible warranty. The implied warranty assumes that the product is safe for ordinary use. Georgia law also makes it clear that if a manufacturer releases a defective product, with or without awareness, they are strictly liable for any injuries said product causes to its consumers.

Examples of Defective Products

Typically, product defects fall under one of three categories: design defects, manufacturing defects or marketing defects.

A design defect means that the product was manufactured as intended but a flaw in its design resulted in someone’s injury. An example of this could be defective earplugs which are guaranteed to protect people from dangerously high noise levels. If the earplugs fail to do their job because of a flaw in their design and a person suffers severe hearing loss, the manufacturer could potentially be held responsible for the injury.

Manufacturing defects occur when a correctly designed product wasn’t assembled or produced correctly. For example, nonperishable food products or medication that’s been contaminated at a processing facility are examples of manufacturing defects.

Marketing defects are errors or misleading statements in a product’s advertising or marketing. Insufficient or wrong instructions and lack of safety warnings are also categorized as marketing defects.

Defining Premises Liability

Commercial and residential property owners are responsible for providing a safe environment to those who enter their premises. If a homeowner, landlord or business fails to keep their property or establishment safe and someone is injured due to preventable or fixable hazards that guests weren’t warned to avoid, the property owner or business can be held liable for the damages they caused.

Examples of Premises Liability Claims

Some common examples of premises liability claims include:

  • Lack of security: If a business has broken lights in their parking lot, creating a perfect environment for criminals to victimize people, and an employee or customer is injured during a robbery or random act of violence as a result, the business owner could potentially be responsible failing to provide adequate security.
  • Maintenance issues: A property owner, whether they own a commercial property or a house, is responsible for keeping their building safe. If you visit a friend’s house and get struck by a falling light fixture, you might have a premises liability case.
  • Slips and falls: If you’re walking through a store, slip on a puddle of soda and suffer a back injury, the business might be held liable depending on who spilled the soda, when it was spilled, whether there was a wet floor sign up, and whether an employee could have done something about it between when the spill occurred and when you were injured.

Proving a premises liability case isn’t always easy. It’s necessary for the plaintiff to show the property owner knew about or should have known about the hazard. They then must prove the property owner had time to do something about it yet failed to do so.

What to Do if You’ve Been Injured

Your case is only as strong as the evidence you have to back it up. If you’ve been injured, there are several steps you should take to increase your chances of recovering damages:

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible and keep a record of your injuries and all medical costs pertaining to your injury
  • Report the accident to authorities and/or business owner or property owner
  • File a claim with your insurance company
  • Take pictures of the accident or defective product
  • Write down what happened
  • Get witness statements (if there were any)
  • Avoid sharing any details of your injury on social media
  • Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer

Get Legal Help from the Dressie Law Firm in Georgia

If you’ve suffered injuries from a defective product or an unsafe premises, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys will do their best to help you hold the responsible party accountable and get the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Call (770) 756-6333 for a free consultation.