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Can Consumers Be Blamed for Getting Hurt and Injured by a Defective or Dangerous Product?

Basic Products Liability Law

Products liability law holds that anyone who designs, manufactures, sells or otherwise distributes a defective product can be held responsible for the injuries caused by that defective product.

Let’s say, for example, that your child gets injured by a defective toy that was designed and manufactured overseas, brought to the United States by a California importer, sold wholesale by a national distributor to a national toy store chain and eventually sold by that toy store to you.  Each one of those companies, the foreign designer and manufacturer, the importer, the distributor and finally the retail toy store may be held responsible for your child’s injuries from a defective product.  Some states have different laws in this regard but an experienced attorney will track down all the parties who may be responsible even though this can be a difficult process. 

Can Consumers Be Held Responsible For Their Injuries?

In dangerous products cases, consumers are often blamed for their own injuries.  Does that mean there is no case? No.

Companies that manufacture and market products are obligated to consider how their products will likely be used by reasonable, average consumers.  These companies must anticipate that consumers will not always use a particular product in the exactly correct fashion.

For example, if the manufacturer of a large paper cutting machine fails to place a guard over the rotating cutter, the worker who gets injured because he tries to quickly reach into that area of the machine to clear a jam or the worker who accidentally slips on the factory floor and gets his hand injured by the machine may bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

The manufacturer may argue that it did not intend workers to place their hands in that area of the machine.  The manufacturer may also argue that it was the worker’s fault for slipping on the floor.

However, product liability law requires that the manufacturer anticipate these kinds of injuries.  It is certainly reasonable to expect that workers might be injured by these occurrences.  Thus, although the manufacturer will argue that the injury was the worker’s own fault, the worker will indeed have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.


In many states, these types of issues, known as comparative fault or comparative negligence, are not relevant in product liability cases.  An experienced lawyer can assess your actions and the product itself and advise you if a product liability claim should be pursued.

Click here to access our legal article about products liability law.

If you or a loved one was injured by a dangerous or defective product, it is important to discuss your case with a qualified Pennsylvania and New Jersey products liability and dangerous products lawyers, call 877.944.8396 for a free consultation.

**DISCLAIMER: This website does not provide legal advice.  Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case.


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