Online shopping is growing in popularity among people from different walks of life. This is because it is convenient and inexpensive; it is straightforward to shop online because they never close. Plus, there are a lot of online shops that offer discounted items.
Now, while these may seem like advantages, there is also a downside to this—online shoppers have less protection from product defects and damage. This is because online shops are not always regulated by the government, unlike traditional stores.
This only means that there are also risks when shopping online just like in traditional shopping. If you order a product and receive one that looks or works differently from how it looked or worked when presented, then you have the right to sue the online store for damage or losses.
If you are dissatisfied, or if the product you buy has an inherent vice that makes it dangerous for normal use, then you can sue the online shop depending on how this vice caused damage to your health and property. This is known as product liability.
What is product liability?
Product liability is the area of law dealing with the accountability of manufacturers and suppliers for damage caused due to defective products. This is an important aspect in every country, especially where consumer protection is strong and when the manufacturer or supplier is held liable for damage.
There are three types of product liability, namely:
- Manufacturing defect – when a defective product is manufactured even though all care was taken to ensure that it’s not, such as in the production process.
- Design defect – when an ordinary product causes injury because its design is dangerous, such as a car whose seat belts do not work.
- Warning defect – when a product would be safe to use if the manufacturer had only provided proper instructions and warnings, such as a label that says, “Do not ingest.”
How can you sue for product liability?
Before you start filing a claim, you need to first determine if a lawsuit is even necessary, so it would be best to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. This is to determine if the product was indeed defective or dangerous.
By doing so, your lawyer can advise you on whether to sue or not. If it is decided that a lawsuit would be beneficial, then the next step would be filing a complaint. This means that you have to file a notice of claim that says you have been harmed or injured because the product is defective.
Other reasons to sue for product liability
It’s important to understand that the online shop you ordered from may not necessarily be the manufacturer of the product you bought. Most likely, they are just middlemen; but even if they are manufacturers or suppliers, there are still certain situations that could warrant suing them for reasons which include:
- The seller was negligent and failed to ensure the safety of the product.
- The product is dangerous and defective because it does not conform to the manufacturer’s specifications or labeling.
For both of the reasons named above, you have the right to sue for damage or losses caused by the online shop. However, there may be certain conditions that must be met before you can file a complaint, such as:
- It’s necessary to return the product to the seller if it is still in good condition.
- The product should not have been used or damaged already if you want to succeed in your complaint.
- If the product was modified by anyone else other than you, then this may invalidate your complaint.
It is advisable to stop using the product immediately once you figure out that it is defective or dangerous. You should also seek medical attention if you were injured because of it. As for your claim, provide as much information as possible to prove that you were injured or that your property was damaged because the product is defective.
In conclusion, you have the right to sue an online shop if a defective product causes damage and losses to you, especially if they did not uphold their end of the contract by ensuring safe use of their products. Because of these reasons, the online stores must be held liable for their negligence in selling defective products.
But take note that there are time limitations when filing a claim, so it is best to seek legal advice immediately once you decide to sue the online shop due to product liability. By doing so, you can win your claim and be awarded compensation for the damage.