Dallas Product Liability Attorneys
Have you or a family member been injured because a product you were using malfunctioned due to defects, poor design, or lack of sufficient instructions on use and safety? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our product liability attorneys at The Barber Law Firm want you to know that there are laws which protect your right to compensation.
Contact our Dallas legal team today for a careful analysis of the circumstances of your accident. We may be able to pursue justice on your behalf and get you the compensation to which you’re entitled. Contact us without delay to learn more about how we can assist you on your road to recovery.
Defective Product Frequently Asked Questions
Defective products can cause serious injuries. Below, you will find practical answers to the most common questions you may have if you’ve been injured by a defective product.
Do I Have a Claim?
If you were using a product that malfunctioned and resulted in injury, you may have the legal right to file a claim against the product’s manufacturer, seller or distributor. For example, if an airbag in your car didn’t deploy properly in a car accident, failing to provide appropriate protection and causing you to suffer more severe injuries, the car manufacturer or the airbag manufacturer may be held liable and owe you compensation.
Similarly, if you have suffered injuries because the manufacturer failed to provide clear and sufficient warnings or instructions related to the proper use of a product, you may also pursue financial compensation for the harm you’ve experienced. For example, if an electronic device battery is prone to exploding under certain circumstances yet the manufacturer doesn’t provide an appropriate warning, a person who suffered burns and scarring as a result of a battery explosion may file a claim against the device manufacturer, the battery manufacturer or both.
Please be advised that the scenarios provided above are only general examples. If you believe that you have suffered harm as a result of a product defect, contact our firm immediately for legal counsel on how best to proceed.
What Can Be Compensated?
In defective product cases, you file a claim to receive financial compensation for the losses you have sustained in relation to your injuries. The money you may receive is also called “damages”. Two main kinds of damages may be awarded to the victim in a defective product case – economic and noneconomic:
- Economic damages are designed to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity (if you’ve become permanently unable to work as a result of your injuries) as well as any substantial damage to your property.
- Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are related to losses that are not so easily quantifiable such as pain and suffering or emotional distress you have experienced as well as scarring or permanent disfigurement your body sustained in a defective product accident.
In addition, if your case is escalated to the court, a jury or a judge may also award you punitive damages. These damages aren’t meant to compensate the victim for their losses, but rather to punish the responsible party for grossly negligent or reckless actions. For example, if a company kept manufacturing, promoting, and selling a product even though it knew about the product’s dangerous design defects, the court may decide to punish the company with punitive damages.
What Factors Could Preclude Me From Filing a Claim?
You may be precluded from filing a defective product claim if your injuries were caused by improper use of a product as well as a failure to adhere to the manufacturer’s warnings and instructions. Similarly, you may forfeit your right to compensation if the danger associated with the product was obvious or if the injury occurred while using the product in a way other than that for which it was designed.
However, it is always best to have an experienced product liability lawyer review the circumstances of your accident before making any decisions as to whether or not you have a claim. You should also be wary of an insurance company’s agents telling you that you have “lost your rights” to a claim due to vague or poorly explained reasons. Please talk to one of our attorneys immediately if you’ve been contacted by a representative of any parties that may be potentially liable for your injuries in a case related to a product defect.
What Product Liability Claims Do You Handle?
Our firm handles product liability cases involving:
- Roof crush cases
- Seatback failures
- Tire defects
- Vehicle rollovers
- Automotive restraint failures
- Child restraint defects
- Electrical injuries
- Agriculture equipment defects
- Airbag injuries
- Personal watercraft defects
- Boat accidents
- Construction site injuries
- Gas pipeline explosions
- Defective vehicle equipment
- General aviation aircraft/helicopters
- Industrial equipment defects
- Industrial plant injuries
- Food poisoning
What Should I Do Next?
Product liability claims and lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers are difficult to maintain. Such companies generally have large legal staffs and major insurance companies defending their interests. To be successful in product liability lawsuits, experts in engineering or other specialized areas must be retained to testify about the defects in the design or construction of the product. Accordingly, when someone is injured by a product, it is important that they start pursuing their claim as soon as possible.
Common Factors Leading to a Product Liability Claim
In defective product cases, the injured party must be able to prove two basic facts for the claim to prevail. First, the victim must show that he or she suffered injuries due to a dangerous defect in the product. Second, the injured party must also prove that the product’s manufacturer – as well as other parties against whom the claim is directed – are liable for the accident and the injuries it caused. Liable means legally responsible, and parties may be found liable for their defective products as a result of negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty.
Negligence can occur when a manufacturer, supplier, distributor, or any other party involved in bringing a product to consumers, failed to adhere to a reasonable standard of care which led to the production and distribution of a dangerously defective product. When alleging negligence in a product liability claim, the injured party must prove that the manufacturer or other involved parties were careless or negligent in their duties and failed to reasonably protect the consumer’s safety.
In Texas, a person injured by a defective product can also file a claim based on the strict liability theory. Strict liability claims don’t require the victim to prove that negligence played a role in the accident. Rather, they need to be able to prove that the product in question was defective and it wasn’t substantially altered before they received it; the injured party must also prove that the defect was dangerous and that it was the direct cause of the injury.
Breach of Warranty
A warranty can be understood as a promise the manufacturer of a product makes to the consumer. A warranty may be expressed or implied. An expressed warranty may refer to the producer or seller’s claims about the product, its purposes, and capabilities. An implied warranty, on the other hand, isn’t explicit but rather arises from laws and public policies. In a product liability case, a victim may claim the breach of implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose:
- Warranty of merchantability: by offering a product for sale, the manufacturer or the seller makes an implied promise that the product doesn’t have any design or manufacturing defects and that it’s not dangerous due to improper or insufficient labeling and instructions
- Warranty of fitness for a particular purpose: this warranty puts the responsibility on the seller to provide the buyer with a product that is fit for the purpose the buyer intends to use the product for. The buyer has the right to trust the seller’s good judgment in this regard and so if the seller provides the buyer with a product that is unfit for the buyer’s intended purpose, the warranty is breached and the seller may be held liable. Importantly, in this case, the product doesn’t have to have any design and manufacturing defects for the breach of warranty to occur.
What Makes a Product Defective
A product can be viewed as defective as a result of one or more of the following issues:
- Design problems: the product is unreasonably dangerous to the consumer due to flaws and errors in its design. When claiming design problems in a defective product case, the injured party must be able to prove that the risk posed by a product was foreseeable and the product is dangerous when used according to its intended purpose.
- Manufacturing defects: a product may become defective despite a flawless design if negligence or errors during the manufacturing process render the product unsuitable and unsafe for use.
- Failure to warn: the manufacturer has the legal obligation to warn the buyers about certain non-obvious risks related to the product use. Importantly, failure to warn may be a reason to file a valid product liability claim even if a person got injured while using the product in a way contrary to it’s intended use – provided that the manufacturer could reasonably be expected to have predicted the misuse.
Who Can Be Held Liable For Defective Product Injuries
If you have suffered injuries while using a defective product, more than one party may be liable for your injuries. It is always best to consult a defective product attorney who will carefully analyze both the accident and your injuries in order to identify who was at fault. However, parties often held liable for defective product injuries include:
- Product’s manufacturer
- Wholesaler or distributor
How Common Are Defective Product Claims?
Each day of a person’s life, they come in contact with a product of some type. Infants are surrounded by cribs, play pens, car seats, toys, medications and other products which are specially made to suit their unique needs. Older children come in contact with bicycles, electronic games, medications, and products that are specifically marketed to adolescents. Adults come in contact with cars, boats, appliances, machinery at work, medications, and products that become a part of their daily lives. Many products are safely designed and pose no special risk to the person using them. However, a significant number of products that are improperly designed, constructed or fail to warn about hidden dangers cause severe injuries or death. Problems with dangerous products are so prevalent that the Federal Government created the Consumer Product Safety Commission to reduce the risk of injuries and deaths caused by consumer products.
Statutes of Limitation in Texas – Reason to Act Quickly
Statutes of limitation describe the legal time limit a person injured in a defective product accident has to file a claim against the at-fault party. In Texas, the statute of limitations for product liability claims is two years from the date the accident occurred. While two years may seem like a long time, it is usually best to start working on a claim as soon as possible. Preparing a claim may be a lengthy process which may include investigating the circumstances of the accident, identifying the precise defects that caused injuries, and determining who the at-fault parties are. The sooner you contact an attorney, the greater the chance you will be able to file your claim within the statute of limitation and obtain compensation for your injuries.
If you would like to discuss a potential product liability claim with a product liability lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth, TX, click here. If we agree to handle your case, we will normally work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery. In almost all cases, a lawsuit must be filed within a certain amount of time from the date of the accident. If you intend to pursue a claim, you should contact an attorney right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.