Just because your product has no design flaws does not mean it cannot inflict serious injury on you. When you buy a product, you should also receive a notice that the product may be dangerous if you use it in an improper manner. The notice should also tell you about any hidden dangers in the product.
A manufacturer that knows about the risk of serious injury to a customer has a duty to supply adequate and understandable warnings along with the product. FindLaw explains different ways a company can provide clear notice of product dangers.
Ways to give you instructions and warnings
A manufacturer should not only include warnings along with the product, but they must be in a location where you can easily find them. Usually, a warning will come in the form of a sticker with dark lettering amid a yellow, red or orange background. These stickers are usually on the product box but may also be on the product itself.
If you need to know how to use a product, you should also have instructions. They may come in the form of a single sheet of paper, a diagram or a booklet depending on the complexity of the product. You might also find warning information on the literature itself.
Making warnings understandable
It is not enough for the manufacturer to slap a warning label on a product box. The warning should be easily comprehensible. This is why many warnings take the form of symbols and displays of an unsafe situation. This helps children and people who do not speak English to understand how to avoid getting hurt with a product. Your instructions may also have pages in non-English languages.
When you should have warnings
Not all companies have to place warnings with their products. Usually, a manufacturer must know that their product poses a danger when someone uses the product in a reasonable fashion, but the danger is not clear to the user. The standards for reasonable use and the clear nature of a product danger will vary across products and users.
Any customer should be vigilant for warnings and instructions to avoid injury. If a manufacturer has failed to alert you, the company may be accountable for injuries you have suffered from the product.