Do Product Liability Disclaimers Negate Liability?
Product manufacturers owe you as the consumer a duty of care. They have a legal responsibility to make their products safe for use or provide warning instructions. However, they might turn to product liability disclaimers in an attempt to escape liability for product-related injuries.
Product disclaimers have been in use for the past 5 decades. While they might be effective in some instances, they raise a crucial question. Do disclaimers absolve a manufacturer of liability?
If you have been injured due to a defective product, a Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney can help you navigate liability and damages.
What Is a Product Liability Disclaimer?
Before product liability laws were passed, products were used ‘at your own risk.’ This meant that the product manufacturer didn’t owe you a duty of care. They could not be held liable for any injuries you suffered while using the product.
Today, regulatory bodies work to ensure products are defect-free and safe when used in a reasonable manner. They do this by imposing strict rules on product manufactures. If you get injured due to a defective product, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the manufacturer.
Personal injury claims and lawsuits are expensive. They can also damage a business’s reputation. To protect themselves from these risks, manufacturers now include a written disclaimer in their products. This is a notice distancing them from any harm that may arise from using the product.
The law guarantees that a product should be safe when used in a reasonable way. This warranty right stands unless you sign a written contract which bargains the loss of your rights. As such, product disclaimers don’t negate a manufacturer’s liability for a product-related injury.
That said, a court could find a disclaimer valid if it is contained in a written contract that you signed. This is relatively common when buying handmade or custom-made products.
As you can see, it is not easy for a manufacturer to escape liability. Their duty of care is stipulated and regulated by product liability laws. However, sellers can relinquish liability by informing you before purchasing that a product is to be taken ‘as-is.’ They will usually allow you to inspect the product and decide whether to buy it in the given condition.
While product liability disclaimers are not valid, manufacturers must provide you with basic instructions and warnings. These labels should indicate any potential dangers of using the product. Should you disregard a clearly indicated warning, a court could find you negligent.
Additionally, a product disclaimer could be considered valid if you use a product in a way it was not intended. For instance, you cannot pursue a claim for getting injured while shaving with a knife.
Talk to a Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney
Product liability laws in New Jersey provide an avenue for you to seek damages for any injuries resulting from defective products. Product liability disclaimers can complicate matters, especially if the manufacturer argues that you used the product incorrectly. However, they do not negate liability. A Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney can help protect your rights.
Attorney Anthony Carbone is passionate about the rights of injury victims. He dedicates his time, resources, knowledge, and experience towards helping his clients get the compensation they deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today at 201-829-3829 to discuss your case with him.