The law is a very diverse and extensive area that can cause confusion among those who aren’t familiar with the finer details. Two legal concepts that are often confused for one another are personal injury and product liability. While both of these concepts help victims secure damages for having sustained injuries, they also differ significantly enough that their angles of approach vary from one another, along with how cases are made and what damages are awarded. Here are their primary differences:
Primary Legal Basis
The most important difference to note is how these two aspects of the law are evaluated. This forms the basis of what the court proceedings should determine, and identifies which party should be held liable for the injuries and damages sustained by the claimant.
Personal injury claims are governed by tort law, which means that the purpose of court proceedings is to determine which party is at fault. The plaintiff must prove that the respondent’s actions were negligent and that the negligent behavior was the exact cause of the injuries of the victim.
Product liability claims are governed by the law of strict liability, which means that products have implied warrantiesthat claim that they have no defects whatsoever. This warranty holds true even when it is not expressly stated.
Since these warranties are in effect, when a product is found to be defective, this also means that there is a breach of warranty. The primary goal of a plaintiff is to simply prove that the product was defective despite being used as intended.
Actionable Wrongs or Cause of Action
Before a lawsuit can be filed, it must first be established that there was a right that was violated. This will also determine the nature of the case. A single case may have multiple causes of action. Here’s an example:
Sabrina is the owner of a brand new luxury SUV. She later discovered that her SUV’s brakes were faulty. Since she bought the car brand new, it is covered by an implied warranty that there shouldn’t be any defects. Sabrina’s cause of action is that the SUV that was sold to her had major defects that shouldn’t be there to begin with. Since the product was defective, the case now has a product liability nature.
Personal Injury Caused By Product Liability
Now, consider the same scenario except that due to the defective brakes, the SUV was involved in a car accident which left the claimant with several injuries. Since the defect of the product resulted in the injuries of the claimant, the case is now both a product liability lawsuit as well as a personal injury lawsuit, which has a significant effect on the damages owed by the party responsible for the defect.
Even when you know the finer details of the law, nothing will ever surpass the importance of hiring a professional like this Montgomery County Lawyer. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to understand the law either. Knowing your rights will help you understand how exactly you should respond to a particular scenario.