Product Liability FAQs

Every day we buy products from the store or online expecting that the product will work properly and safely. This is not always the case and many products we buy malfunction causing harm.

Any type of product you buy can be dangerous. It can range from a bad drug, toy, home goods, or even our cell phones. These products can unexpectedly malfunction by catching on fire, over heating or breaking causing severe injuries to consumers. Product liability laws can help you get the compensation you deserve when injured from a defective product.

We have put together some product liability FAQs to help you better understand your legal rights. The following questions and answers provide you with an introduction to Massachusetts product liability laws, but there is no substitute for proper legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions


When is a manufacturer responsible for a defective product?
Whenever a product causes unexpected harm to a consumer the manufacture can be held responsible for the defective product and the injuries one sustained from it. Take for example, if you use a drug as directed that causes you to experience severe side effects like liver damage, the manufacturer could be held responsible if the drug was not properly labeled warning the consumer of the potential risks. By providing a warning to consumers manufacturers can limit their liability. However, a failure to adequately warn of the dangers or any type of design defect or flaw in the product itself can also lead to a product liability claim.

Who is responsible for a defective product?
There are usually multiple parties that can be held liable in a product liability case. The suppliers of defective parts within the product, the manufacturer of the product as a whole, as well as distributors and people who sell the product to you can all be held accountable.

What do I have to prove in a product liability claim?
A majority of product liability claims are handled under strict liability rules. Due to the strict rules, one does not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent in any way in order to recover compensation. As long as you can prove that you used the product and it caused unexpected harm you are able to prove a product liability claim. One can also file a product liability claim based on negligence. As long as one can prove the manufacture was unreasonably careless during the design and production of a product causing harm. The is based on a design defect due to failing to warn of the product’s dangers or other legal grounds.

What types of compensation can I get?
There are multiple types of compensation one can file for including compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. If the defective product causes a death, then wrongful death damages can be obtained by the family members. In some limited cases, one may be able to claim punitive damages.

Why are product liability claims often class actions?
There are usually multiple people who purchase a defective product that is sold in stores. Due to the amount of people who usually purchase these products many typically suffer the same harm or a similar type of harm. If multiple people experience the same type of harm they are entitled to make the same type of legal claim. Usually these multiple claims are combined into one large class action case in order to make the process go faster.

Should I join a class action?
Every person’s situation is different and not everyone is harmed in the same way. Whether to join a class action or not after you have been harmed depends on your specific situation. If you are not afraid to go to court in order to settle on your own and believe you have a strong case than you may choose to avoid a class action lawsuit. Joining a class action is often the easiest way to recover compensation.

Should I hire a lawyer?
It is always a wise choice to work with a Massachusetts product liability lawyer if you have been harmed by a defective product. Your lawyer can help you to determine how to proceed with your legal claim and can assist you in negotiating a settlement or taking your case to trial.
To learn more about how a Boston product liability lawyer can help you if you are a victim of an injury caused by a defective product, Attorney Injury Group today at 617-934-7000 or online. Remember your consultation is always free and we are here to put our legal skills to work for you.