Product liability cases are more common than you may think but business owners need to take them seriously because they can have far-reaching implications. Basically, businesses have an obligation to protect the consumers against defective products. If they fail to do so, they are legally responsible for the injuries caused to the customers by such products.
Unfortunately, manufacturers, traders and suppliers are at constant risk because they cannot do enough to eliminate the product defects completely. Still, there are some measures that you can implement to safeguard your organization from product liability claims. Here are some strategies that can help.
Incorporate relevant safety during build and design
A majority of defects and hazards can be side-lined during the design stage. It makes sense to consider how the consumers will use your products and what hazards they can present so that you can implement the right preventative safety measures at this stage.
Ideally, you should perform a safety review for assessing the defects and appropriate warnings and instructions that can be added in prominent areas on the products. Also, ensure visibility and compliance by the consumers. Reviewing and testing the products periodically to warrant that no new hazards exist is also a good approach.
Be prepared for liability questions at all stages of design process
Just incorporating the adequate safety measures in the design process is only half the work done. You will also have to be prepared for liability questions at all stages of the design process. At the same time, you should also have alternative strategies and safety measures for every possibility, such as product recalls, damages and legal fees.
Although this may be expensive and time consuming, being prepared always puts you in a better position in case something unfortunate happens.
Hire an attorney to cover the risk
You may have the best measures and safety practices to avoid product liability cases, but you can never be sure enough. Accidents may still happen, whether due to defective products or improper usage but your business will be at risk. Experts at Keith Williams Law recommend that you should have an attorney on board to manage your exposure to the risk of product liability claims.
While they can represent you when there is a claim in the court, these professionals can also provide proper guidance to minimize the risk exposure. For example, they will suggest that you should keep a documentary record of the product design analysis so you have a solid defense strategy in court.
Maintain your product’s reputation
Apart from implementing the requisite defensive measures, you also need a proactive strategy to maintain the reputation of your product and brand. Needless to say, product liability lawsuits can bring down your product’s reputation and reduce the consumer faith. They can even cause huge losses for the business in the form of punitive damages to be paid to the victim. So you must do all that you can to verify your suppliers, consistently review the products and prevent the claims in the first place.
In addition to focusing on risk reduction, it is also advisable for businesses to get product liability insurance to cover you in case of litigation. The more careful you are, the better it is for your finances and reputation.