You’re planning to start your business soon. This has been in the plan for years, and it’s just now that you feel there’s an urgency to start. However, you know that starting a business needs careful planning. You need to think about how you’ll gain customers, how you’ll market your products and how you can ensure that your business will run for the longest time possible. All of these things are common things to think about – and probably worry about – when you’re starting a new business. But have you ever thought about product liabilities and how this can have an impact on your business’ image? Yes, this might not be something which you don’t hear every day, but this too matters in any business. This article will educate you why this is so important.
First Off, What Is Product Liability?
Product liability simply refers to a seller or manufacturer being held liable whenever a defective product reaches the hands of a customer. All people involved within the distribution chain will also be responsible whenever a customer has an injury while using their products. This means that as a business owner, you should ensure that the product the customer receives is of high-quality and will not injure them in any way or worse, your business can even become the reason of your consumer’s wrongful death. And if you fail to do this, you and your business could face several lawsuits which can become the reason why your business will crumble and eventually die. Y
Who Are The Responsible Parties In Product Liability Lawsuits?
Injuries sustained by a customer because of a product is serious business. Once a customer is hurt in any way, chances are, he/she will be filing a case against the business to recover the damages they’ve sustained. The customer has the right to do that. Any party involved in the product’s chain of production can be held liable for a product’s defect. These parties can include:
- The manufacturer of the products;
- The manufacturer of needed parts to be used in the product;
- Any internal or external party that installs or assembles the product;
- The product wholesalers;
- The retail store that sold the product to the customer.
You own a business which makes you a party included in the chain of distribution. If you don’t want your business to face lawsuits because of product liabilities, you should ensure that all of the processes involving the product are done with the utmost attention, care and of high-quality. Your products should be consistent every single time regardless of the production stage. You should only work with well-known manufacturers to not have your business name and your reputation on the line. Working with well-known manufacturers might be expensive, but you can guarantee that your business will not be jeopardized in any way.
What Are The Types Of Product Defects?
When you’re business is involved in a lawsuit, expect that you’d be required to join court hearings, meet with different witnesses and review lengthy documents (and these are just a few things you’re supposed to do). Although all of these might seem simple, it’s not. When you’re dealing with lawsuits, your time will be divided and your focus will be elsewhere. Instead of thinking about how to grow your business, you will end up meeting with too many lawyers just to iron out things with the parties involved. For you to avoid going in that direction, it’s essential that you know what are the types of product defects so you’d know how to improve your products in the long run:
- Design defects: This means that the product that arrived in the customers’ hands were unsafe and can cause injuries when used. For example, a customer might have bought a table, but it has unequal lengths. This causes the table to be unstable or unsafe.
- Manufacturing defects: These are defects that happen in the course of the product’s assembly or manufacture. Commonly, this includes missing parts of the products which result in the product becoming unsafe for customer use.
- Marketing defects: These are flaws on how the product is marketed, which can include improper labeling, inadequate safety warnings and insufficient instructions on how to use the product. This can also be about deceptive marketing wherein manufacturers mislead a customer about their products.
Starting a new business can be very taxing, especially if you don’t have any formal training on how to operate one. For your business to become successful in the long-term, there are numerous things you should greatly consider as all of these are equally important. Yes, there might be a lot of factors contributing to your business’ growth, but you should never forget the importance of product liabilities in all of your business processes. You should keep in mind that as a business, you have an obligation to your customers through your products. Once you’ve done this right consistently, you’re a step closer to attaining your business’ success!
Adeline Robinson is one of most promising young law writers. She writes pieces on law topics for common readers. She is an avid sports fan and loves watching games if she has free time.