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How Do You Prove a Product Is Defective?

July 10, 2024 | 4 min read

Defective products can cause serious injuries. If you, your child or spouse, or another member of your family has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to financial compensation under Arizona law.

To file a successful claim, you will need proof of the defect. So how do you prove a product is defective?

A defective product lawyer can help. Burg Simpson has the experience, legal knowledge, and resources needed to hold companies accountable for faulty products. Call 602-777-7000 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation.

Proving a Product Defect in Arizona

Proving a product is defective starts with understanding when a product is considered legally “defective” in Arizona. A product can be deemed “defective” based on one or more of three primary issues:

  • Defective Design – A product suffers from a design defect when it is unsafe for its intended use even when properly manufactured. Design defects can take many forms, from faulty wiring to use of unsafe materials to being prone to tipping over to a risk of coming apart or exploding during use.
  • Manufacturing Defect – A product suffers from a manufacturing defect when it is unsafe for its intended use due to an issue that arises during the manufacturing process. Flaws in the overall manufacturing process, substitution of inferior materials, inadequate quality control, and one-off flaws can all give rise to product defect claims.
  • Failure to Warn – In Arizona, victims and families can also file defective product claims based on failure to warn. These claims involve a failure to adequately disclose the risks associated with using a product on its label, instructions, or packaging.

In Arizona, any entity in the “chain of distribution” may be held liable for a product defect. This includes manufacturers, sellers, and others.

Investigating a Product Defect Claim in Arizona

With all three types of defective product claims, proving the defect involves conducting a prompt and thorough investigation. To maximize your chances of recovering just compensation, it is important to have as much evidence as possible.

When you hire an experienced product liability lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will work quickly to collect any and all available evidence before it disappears. While the specific types of evidence that are available vary from case to case, some common forms of evidence used in defective product cases are:

The Product Itself (or Any Remaining Parts or Pieces)

If you still have the product that injured you or your loved one, you should keep it to give to your product liability lawyer. This is true no matter how badly damaged the product may be. Even if you only have parts or pieces of a product that broke, caught fire, or exploded, these could still be key evidence in support of your claim.

The Product’s Label, Instructions, & Packaging

If you have the product’s label, instructions, or packaging (and/or a receipt, invoice, or any other documentation), you should be sure to keep these to give to your lawyer as well. These will have information that identifies the specific product that harmed you or your loved one (i.e., the model name, release date, or SKU). Careful review of the packaging and paperwork may also uncover evidence of a failure to warn.

Forensic Evidence from the Product-Related Accident

Along with examining the product (or any parts or pieces) and any documentation you still have in your possession, your lawyer may also conduct a forensic investigation at the site of the accident. Various types of evidence may be available at the scene, and it will be important to preserve this evidence before it disappears.

An Expert Report & Expert Testimony

When you hire a lawyer to file a product liability claim, your lawyer may engage one or more experts to examine the product and prepare a report detailing exactly how and why the product failed. If necessary, this expert can also testify regarding the product defect in court.

Internal Records from the Product’s Designer or Manufacturer

From design files and manufacturing records to emails discussing safety-related concerns with the product that injured you or your loved one, your lawyer may be able to use various types of internal records to establish liability as well. Once your lawyer files a lawsuit on your behalf, your lawyer will be able to obtain any relevant internal records from the product’s designer or manufacturer through the discovery process.

Again, these are just examples, and not all forms of evidence will be available in all cases. If you think you may have a product defect claim in Arizona, we strongly recommend talking to an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as possible.

Do You Have a Claim? Contact a Product Liability Lawyer in Arizona for Free

Product liability claims can be complex. Companies are conscious of the threat that litigation poses to their bottom line and their reputation, which is why they tend to vigorously defend against these cases.

Burg Simpson has extensive experience representing clients in defective product claims in Phoenix, all over Arizona, and throughout the country. Contact us for FREE to discuss your case and identify the options for holding the manufacturer(s) accountable.