Injuries from dangerous and defective products
Consumers purchase products to improve their lives. However, sometimes a product not only fails to perform, but also causes serious harm. When manufacturers and sellers fail to make their products safe for consumers, they should be held responsible. Dibrell Graham Law steps up when products fail. Our attorney guide clients through the ins and outs of product liability cases, helping you to understand your rights and options while holding manufacturers responsible for the harm they cause.
What is product liability?
When a defective product causes personal injury, death, or property damage, the victim may recover monetary compensation from the manufacturers or sellers. This is known as product liability. Manufacturers include everyone who is a part of making and distributing the product as a whole or even any component parts.
There are many types of people involved in the manufacture and distribution of a product, including:
Using a product in the way it’s intended or typically used should not result in injury. If it does, the manufacturers or sellers may be held responsible. The personal injury lawyers of Dibrell Graham Law help injured clients navigate product liability claims, guiding them through each aspect of their claim and tracking down the responsible parties to maximize compensation.
How do you know if you have a product liability case?
To understand whether a person may recover compensation, it is important to know what types of defects may give rise to a product liability case in Texas. There are four main types of product liability defects:
- Design defects: A defect in the design of a product that makes it dangerous even with proper use. Design defects typically affect all products with the same design.
- Manufacturing defects: A defect during the manufacturing process that makes one or a group of products dangerous. For example, it may include a faulty component part, an unintended dangerous ingredient, or defective assembly of the product.
- Inadequate warnings and marketing defects: These defects occur when the manufacturer or seller fails to provide adequate instructions or warnings about safe product usage.
- Breach of warranty: Breach of warranty is a product defect that occurs when a product is promised to perform a certain way in a warranty or advertisement, but the product fails to do so.
Product injuries can happen anywhere and anytime. They can be caused by almost any type of product. Some examples of common types of product defects include:
- Children’s products: Common children’s product defects include choking hazards, strangulation risk, risk of suffocation, toxic chemicals such as lead paint in toys or furniture, medication defects, unlabeled allergens or harmful substances, or flammable materials. Defects may occur in toys, car seats, cribs, baby food, and much more.
- Vehicle defects: Defects may occur in all types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, e:bikes, and bicycles. Recent defects include airbags, windows, headlights, seatbelts, and transmissions.
- Medical products: Defects in medical devices are more common they should be, especially given that these devices are supposed to improve health or lifestyles. Examples of medical devices that may be defective include hearing aids, pacemakers, or wheelchairs. Medications can also be defective, whether they are over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription (Rx). Inadequate warnings and unknown risks are a common type of medication defect.
These products frequently cause injuries, but manufacturer and seller liability is not limited to only these cases. Only an experienced product liability attorney can help injured parties determine whether they have a claim for compensation in Texas.
What evidence is needed in a product liability claim?
Under the Texas Products Liability Act (TPLA), when a product causes injury, death, or damages, the consumer may recover compensation from a seller or manufacturer based on strict liability. This means that there is no requirement to prove negligence. However, Texas law still requires proof of strict liability. We build a case for liability by showing evidence of the following:
- The product had a defect
- The defect was unreasonably dangerous
- The defect caused the injury
In allegations of design defects, the injured party must also prove that there was a safer alternative design than the one that was used in the defective product. In addition, this alternative design must have the following attributes:
- Likely to prevent or significantly reduce the risk of injury caused by the defective design
- Would not seriously impair the product’s usability
- Economically and technologically feasible at that time
When strict liability does not apply, there may still be a claim of negligence, misrepresentation, breach of warranty, or a combination of these. Sellers and manufacturers may also be liable for easily misused products if the misuse was reasonably foreseeable.
Compensation for product liability
When an unreasonably dangerous or defective product causes personal injury or wrongful death, the injured party or surviving family may be entitled to significant compensation. Of course, it is important to recover for economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages, but injured parties may also be entitled to additional non-economic damages.
In Texas, those harmed by product defects may be entitled to economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses, such as ER visits, physical therapy, medical devices, medications, and even long term or nursing home care
- Property damages
- Lost past and future wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Additional expenses resulting from the injury, such as medical travel costs or childcare
In addition, non-economic damages are often available, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional damages and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
In some cases, additional punitive damages may be awarded when the actions of a manufacturer or seller were egregious, such as knowingly and purposefully distributing a dangerous product to consumers rather than fixing the defect.
Professional product liability attorney in Texas
Manufacturers and sellers produce and distribute products for their own gain, but it should not be at the peril of consumers. A product liability lawsuit can help compensate those who have suffered injuries, the death of a loved one, or property damage caused by dangerous and defective products. At Dibrell Graham Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help clients understand whether they may have a case, what compensation may be sought, and how to proceed. Contact us today.