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What happens if an inherently dangerous product causes an injury?

In the past, we've talked about how manufacturers and other companies have an obligation to provide safe products to consumers. If a defective or dangerous product can be linked to consumer injuries, then the companies in question might be held liable for any damage. But what happens when the product itself is inherently dangerous? Can product liability occur in a situation where injuries are caused by something like a knife, for example?

When dealing with knives, you have to discern between several different aspects of the law. First, knives in most states are regulated by some type of law. Some types of knives are not legal, and it's certainly not legal to use a knife to cause potential harm to someone else. Knives are restricted in some areas by law: You can't have certain types of knives on most primary school campuses and blades are typically not allowed on airplanes.

These are all examples of where the law requires users and holders of knives to take care or follow certain procedures. If someone uses a knife outside of the law, then injuries that result from that use might actually be the liability of the user of the knife.

That being said, there are instances where product liability could come into play with a knife. A knife, after all, is a tool and users expect it to function in a certain way. If a manufacturer ships pocket knives with a faulty catch, and that results in people cutting themselves because the knife closes unexpectedly, then a product liability situation might be likely.

Product liability often requires an in-depth and educated review. Understanding all the facts can help a personal injury lawyer determine if liability might exist and if someone has a case for a lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, "Knife Laws," accessed Feb. 26, 2016

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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