Product Liability

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What Is Product Liability?

Product liability is a branch of law that deals with a manufacturer’s responsibility for its products during manufacture, distribution, and sale. If a product causes injury to a user or their property, they may have recourse against the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer through a products liability claim.

A products liability claim is most commonly filed against a manufacturer of the products in question. This includes not only manufacturers of products themselves, but also manufacturers of parts and components that go into products. A claim may also be filed against a distributor of products. Sometimes there is more than one responsible party involved in manufacturing, distributing, and selling products that cause injuries to users or their property.

A product may cause an injury for various reasons, including: 

– Manufacturing defect: Some error or oversight occurred during the production of the product, such as when a car is not painted properly and corrodes prematurely. 

– Design defect: The product does not work safely as designed. 

– Failure to warn or instruct properly about safety concerns: If products are too dangerous to use without proper safety instructions, they must be accompanied by adequate warning labels.

The products covered by products liability laws can be anything from children’s toys to a faulty airbag system in a vehicle. Any product could potentially cause injury if it is defective in some way.

Usually, products liability cases involve products that are dangerous when used normally, but there may be exceptions to this rule. Additionally, a manufacturer can generally be found liable for an injury caused by any reasonably anticipated use of their product, even if it is not the intended use. 

One of the more difficult things a plaintiff must prove in a products liability case is that the product was defective at the time it left the manufacturer’s control. In other words, they will have to prove that the defect that caused the injury was not one created by the plaintiff after they purchased the product. 

How to prove the product is defective after purchase

When products are made with care, companies do their best to protect the consumer by ensuring that products will not harm or injure anyone. However, when products are produced in high quantities, mistakes can easily be missed and some products may unintentionally be made defective. Some manufacturers may fail to give products the care they need during production, which could lead to products that are not as safe as they should be.

Some examples of defects that may not be discovered until a product is purchased include: 

  • Defects in products that are affected by heat. This includes products like lighters and hair dryers. These products’ flaws may not be evident until they’ve been used for an extended period of time, long after the product left the manufacturer’s control.
  • Defects in car parts, like tires and airbags. After products are installed in vehicles, they may be affected by other products, like the car itself. For example, defective brakes might damage a tire or an improperly designed steering wheel might affect how safe an airbag is during impact.
  • Defects in hardware products. Sometimes products like tools or similar products used for everyday tasks may later be found to have defects, such as a sharp edge that was not properly ground down. Another example is a lawnmower blade that becomes loose and flies off while the user is mowing their lawn.

A manufacturer may also be liable for a defect in the product after purchase if it was foreseeable that the product could cause injury to the consumer or their property at some point in time. For example, if a product is made with small parts and someone buys the product for their young child to play with, it may be foreseeable that the child might accidentally swallow one of these small parts and require medical attention. These types of products are expected to contain a warning that they are dangerous to young children or require adequate adult supervision. 

If a consumer purchases or is given a defective product but there is no way for them to prove how it became damaged, they may be able to pursue a products liability case by arguing that the product was defective when they received it. Alternatively, if a plaintiff is able to prove that a warning was not included with a product or if it contained insufficient instructions for use, they could have a strong products liability case against the manufacturer. 

How can a products liability lawyer help you?

To bring a products liability claim against a manufacturer to receive compensation for injuries caused by their defective product, your first inquiry should be, “Is there a product liability lawyer near me?” Luckily, if you live in Texas and have suffered an injury to your person or property because of a product you believe is defective, a knowledgeable product liability attorney at our firm can help you determine if you have a case against the manufacturer. 

Under TX law, there is a statute of limitations of two years from the date of when the incident occurred, meaning after this time passes you may lose your right to pursue legal action against a manufacturer. For this reason, it is important to have a products liability lawyer from our firm review your case as soon as possible.

An attorney can help you understand all of your options under Texas law and if applicable, help you seek compensation that may cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. 

If our products liability lawyer believes you have a case, we will try and negotiate with the manufacturer’s insurance company to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. If no agreement can be reached, we have access to excellent resources that can prepare us for taking your products liability case to court if the insurance company will not budge.

If you believe you have a products liability case, a competent attorney at our firm can answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Please contact our law firm today for more information.

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