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Injured parties: Are they to blame for their own injuries?

Reports of product recalls and defects are shared all the time in news stories and social media. All it takes is for one person to get hurt and file a lawsuit -- or even lodge a complaint on a company's Facebook page -- and suddenly it seems like the only thing to do is to immediately pull the unsafe product from the market.

But the fact is that not every person who is injured by a product can pin the blame on a defect. In some cases, it becomes clear that someone injured by a product is more responsible for his or her injuries than you might assume. 

There are a few ways an injured person could be held fully or partially responsible for any damages suffered while using the allegedly dangerous product. It could be discovered that he or she:

  • Changed or altered the product
  • Used the product for purposes other than those for which it was designed
  • Was negligent in using the product
  • Used the product knowing it presented a possible threat to users
  • Was in breach of a warranty

Under these circumstance, it could be argued that the plaintiff is the one fully or partially to blame. If this happens, a case could be dropped or any damages that might be awarded could be decreased significantly.

Product liability claims can be enormously complicated. Not only are they legally complex, they also have the potential to garner considerable attention from the public, who may automatically side with the injured party. For these reasons, it can be critical to have legal representation if you are defending yourself against a product liability claim.

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