American consumers expect a certain level of safety when purchasing products at grocery and department stores. Nevertheless, some products — be they pharmaceutical drugs, manufactured goods or food items — are defective and pose serious threats to the health and safety of consumers.

When defective products cause consumers to suffer harm and injury, the manufacturers and sellers of the products may be liable to pay for the resulting damages. There are three primary types of product defects:

1) Design defects

Sometimes a product’s design can lead to hazardous and dangerous conditions. For example, a manufacturer may design a bicycle with tubes that are too weak to hold riders over a certain weight, resulting in the bike collapsing.

2) Manufacturing defects

In other cases, a manufacturer makes serious mistakes when building a product. For example, a pharmaceutical drug manufacturer may fail to keep a premise clean and dangerous mold or bacteria could contaminate a product.

3) Warning defects

Warning defects relate to a failure to warn or an inadequate warning. Some products are perfectly safe if consumers know how to avoid potential dangers. Or, maybe there are dangers inherent in the use of a product and the consumer needs to understand the risks. Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to warn consumers of these dangers. When the warnings are inadequate and a consumer gets hurt, the product maker could be held legally liable.

Were you or a loved one hurt by a defective product?

Product defects can involve cars, bikes, drugs, toys, foods and many other manufactured goods. Sometimes, these items don’t cause injuries but instead result in consumers suffering property damage, like in the case of a defective space heater causing a home to burn down.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries caused by a defective product and/or suffered financial losses, it’s important to learn about your legal rights. Under Illinois product liability law, you may be able to pursue a claim for damages in court.