Product liability laws are imposed on manufacturers and retailers in a bid to ensure that they do not sell defective goods to consumers. Even with these laws in place, thousands of people still get injured every year due to product defects. Such products could be food, toys, utensils, vehicles, medication, and medical equipment, among others. This results in numerous product recalls by the federal government.
Product defects statistics in the United States
- About 240,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms due to toy-related injuries in 2016
- In 2006, Dell had to recall about 4.1 million laptop batteries as they were at risk of overheating and causing fires
- In 2003, Perfect Fit Industries had to recall about 18,000 units of electric blankets due to overheating. The recall was prompted by four reported cases of minor injuries
- Product liability cases can be quite complex, which is why you need to involve a personal injury lawyer.
Types of product liability
Product liability claims are not all the same, but they do all have one common element: a product must have caused significant harm to the plaintiff. Product liability claims can be broken down into three major categories which include:
These are the most common product liability claims. This type of product liability claim alleges that the product’s original design is entirely safe, but something went awry in the manufacturing process that made it unsafe. A manufacturing defect could arise, for example, from an error during assembly, which makes it perform differently than the rest in its line.
You might be eligible for a claim if you can prove that the product was defectively designed. Unlike in a manufacturing defect, in design defect cases, the product must have been manufactured as intended, but its design made it unreasonably unsafe or dangerous. There must also be a causal connection between your injuries and the product’s condition.
In some cases, the use of a product might have certain risks or dangers which are not apparent. The manufacturer of such products has a legal duty to provide sufficient warning or instructions to consumers. A manufacturer could face liability for marketing defects if:
- The product products present some inherent danger under certain circumstances
- The manufacturer is aware of this danger
- The danger is not apparent to the reasonable consumer
- The danger exists even when it is used sensibly and as intended
Time limitations for filing a product liability claim in Texas
Texas laws give you a maximum of two years from the time the injury occurred. However, the statute of repose dictates that you cannot file a claim 15 years after buying the product from the defendant.
Establishing product liability
Determining the liable party is one of the key elements in a product liability claim. This could be the manufacturer, seller, and/or anyone involved in the modification or repairing of the product. The seller covers everybody involved in the supply chain, including wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, even if they were unaware of the defect or they did not directly cause the defect.
In Texas, the standard of proof in a product liability claim is based on strict liability as opposed to negligence. This is because in this case, your personal injury attorney does not have to prove fault. Your attorney only needs to prove that the injury you sustained is as a result of a defective product. Therefore, it is critical that you gather as much evidence as possible after you’ve sustained the injury. Your personal injury attorney will help you determine whether the injuries are really as a result of the defective product.
The person who initially purchased the defective product is not the only one eligible for compensation. Rather, anyone who uses it in a sensible manner may file a lawsuit if injuries occur.
What damages are awarded in a product liability lawsuit?
In Texas, you may be awarded compensatory damages, which include medical bills, lost income, and property damage as a result of using the product. You may also be compensated for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.
Contact Thompson Law Attorneys
If you have suffered a loss or sustained injuries due to a defective product, you owe it to yourself to find out whether you qualify for compensation. At Thompson Law, our experienced product liability attorneys are committed to pursuing justice for clients who have sustained injuries or whose property has been destroyed by defective products. We will perform a free case review and advise you on your legal options. Contact us today at 844-308-8180.