Proving a Defective Product Claim
To prove a defective product claim, you must establish that there is a defect in the manufacturing or design, or that you were not warned of the dangers. You must also show that the defect caused you some kind of harm, even though you were using the product as intended.
How to prove a defective product claim
If you have been injured by a defective product, or your child has, then you might be wondering whether you have grounds for a defective product claim. To make a defective product claim, you must be able to prove three things:
- You used the product as intended
Firstly, you must have been using the product as intended. There is some leeway on this point, as people are often injured using products in a way that was not intended by the manufacturer. If this applies to you, then you may have a case if you were using the product in a way that could be reasonably expected from the general public.
- The product is defective
Secondly, you must prove that the product has some kind of defect. There are three main types of defects: a defect in the manufacturing, a defect in the design, and a failure to warn of danger. The latter is when the risks and dangers are not adequately communicated to the consumer.
- The defective product caused you injury
Thirdly, you must have been injured by the defective product in some way, be it physically, emotionally or financially. You must also establish a link between the defective product and your injuries. In other words, the defect caused you to suffer harm which would otherwise have been avoided.
Time limits for defective product claims
We should perhaps add a fourth criteria: your injury must have happened within the last two years. This is because in British Columbia, defective products claims must be made within two years, starting from the date of knowledge. This is usually the date you sustained an injury. If you miss this two-year limit, you’ll be out of time.
Get expert legal advice
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, it’s always worth seeking expert legal advice from our Vancouver personal injury lawyers. We can confirm whether or not you have grounds to pursue a defective product claim. A defective product claim can be made against the manufacturer, distributor, installer, the retailer or anyone else in the supply chain.
Defective product claims can be complicated by the fact that the retailer, manufacturer or supplier may be based outside Canada. However, a claim can usually be brought in Canada, as long as the manufacturer/other party expected the product to be purchased or used in Canada. We can advise you about this in greater detail.
Keep as much evidence as possible
If you are thinking about making a defective product claim, we recommend that you get legal advice at the earliest available opportunity. In the meantime, be sure to keep as much evidence as possible relating to your injuries and potential claim. This includes things such as:
- The defective product itself
- The packaging, labels and instructions
- Photos of the defect and your injuries
- Receipts and wage slips showing your financial losses
- Communication with the manufacturer/retailer/other party
- Insurance documents