Each year in this state, defective and dangerous consumer items cause scores of injuries. These items include appliances, tools, electronics, vehicles and vehicle parts, and even children’s toys.
If you’re injured by a dangerous or defective consumer item here in Texas, what is your legal recourse? Will you have to file a lawsuit?
Can you be compensated by the product’s manufacturer for your medical expenses? Can a defective product law firm in San Antonio help?
In all fifty states, product liability statutes express the principle that businesses which sell products to the general public have an obligation to protect consumers from an item’s real and potential hazards.
WHAT KINDS OF PRODUCT DEFECTS POSE A RISK TO CONSUMERS?
Under the law in Texas, the manufacturers of defective or dangerous consumer products may be found liable and may be compelled to pay for the damage and the injuries that those products cause.
Three kinds of defects cause consumer injuries and generate product liability claims:
- Design defects are built into an item’s design and make the item inherently hazardous.
- Manufacturing defects happen during an item’s assembly or production.
- Marketing defects include incorrect labeling or insufficient instructions and warnings.
Consumers in Texas should keep sales receipts and related documents. This is why; if you are injured using a kitchen appliance, and you’ve owned that appliance for a few years, it may be impossible to remember where it was purchased.
Moreover, the labels on a product tend to fade and wear after a number of years, so it can be tough even to identify the item’s manufacturer. And you can’t sue for damages if you don’t know who caused the damages.
HOW CAN PRODUCT LIABILITY LAW FIRMS IN TEXAS HELP YOU?
A product liability claim can be difficult to prove legally, and you may need the testimony of an expert. If you are physically harmed by a defective or dangerous consumer item in this state, have a good product liability attorney explain your legal rights and options.
If you move forward with a product liability claim here in Texas, an experienced San Antonio product liability attorney will be able to find the expert witnesses that you will require.
When an injury happens because of a defective product, seek medical treatment immediately, and gather any evidence that is at the scene. Take photos of your injuries and the accident location. Compile whatever receipts, labels, and other pertinent documents that you can find.
Then, speak with a Texas product liability lawyer as quickly as possible.
HOW CAN A CONSUMER PREVAIL WITH A PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIM?
If you’re injured and you bring a product liability claim against the product’s manufacturer, you (the “plaintiff” in the case) and your attorney must prove that that manufacturer was negligent and that the manufacturer’s negligence was a direct cause of your personal injury or injuries.
More precisely, you and your lawyer must prove the following to prevail with a product liability claim:
- The product’s manufacturer owed to the plaintiff a “duty of care.”
- The manufacturer failed to meet that duty.
- The failure was a direct reason for the plaintiff’s personal injury or injuries.
- The plaintiff sustained a personal injury or injuries and should be compensated.
A plaintiff must additionally show that a defendant could and in fact should have foreseen the dangers and risks of the item prior to or while manufacturing the item. That’s plenty to prove, but with evidence – and help from a good product liability lawyer – your claim should succeed.
WHAT IS A “MARKETING” DEFECT?
Product liability claims may also be based on the misleading or false information provided by either the sellers or the manufacturers of defective items. This is called a “marketing defect.”
Someone who is injured because he or she relied on information provided by the seller or by the manufacturer of a consumer product may file a liability claim. If the claim prevails, the victim may be fully reimbursed for medical costs, lost income, and all other related damages and losses.
Different legal rules cover used items. Those who refurbish, recondition, or rebuild consumer items may be liable for their own work but not for products that are inherently defective. As you might guess, liability hinges on the item and the circumstances of the accident and injury.
If you’re injured by any consumer item, used or new, consult with a reliable product liability attorney who can review your case and determine what grounds you have for legal action.
WHAT DEFENSES ARE OFFERED BY CONSUMER PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS?
A manufacturer in a product liability case may claim that an injured plaintiff ignored warnings and instructions or used the item in a manner that a manufacturer could not foresee. To prevail with a product liability lawsuit, a plaintiff must have used the item as it was intended to be used.
Injuries caused by defective consumer products are sometimes catastrophic, disabling, and/or permanent. Consumer item-related injuries include traumatic brain injuries, severe spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, and even injuries that may require amputation.
When a dangerous or defective product is a vehicle or a vehicle part, anyone who’s on the road will be at risk. If the dangerous or defective item is a prescription drug, the results can sometimes be deadly.
IS THERE ANY PROTECTION FROM DANGEROUS CONSUMER ITEMS?
There is simply no guarantee that consumer products will be safe. Defective and dangerous tires, brakes, appliances, and electronic devices are far too common in the modern world.
All that the average person can really do is read and follow the directions for every item you buy, keep your vehicles properly maintained, and keep up with the news regarding recalls of consumer products.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announces vehicle recalls on its website, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission website provides details about most recalled household items and appliances. Many radio and TV stations also provide recall information.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A PRODUCT LIABILITY LAWYER?
Every case is different. This has been a general discussion of Texas product liability law, but if you are injured by a defective consumer item, you will need the personalized advice and the aggressive representation that an experienced San Antonio product liability attorney will provide.
If you’ve been injured because a product manufacturer was negligent, having a good attorney’s help – as quickly as possible – is your absolute right, and your future may depend on it.