We depend on products in our homes and vehicles to keep us safe. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may feel anger and a sense of betrayal in addition to the pain and suffering from the injury.
Product liability law is a branch of personal injury law that helps consumers injured by a faulty product. A product liability lawyer can help you recover compensation for your loss due to a defective product. Product liability may hold companies, manufacturers, or distributors responsible for defective products, depending on the type of defect.
What Types of Defects Are Included in Product Liability?
Product liability laws are determined on a state-by-state basis, as there are no federal product liability laws. However, all states include the categories of design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects / failure to warn as types of product defects that fall under product liability laws.
If a product was designed in a way that causes an increased risk of injury for a user, then it may be included in product liability cases. If the design is the element that makes the product unsafe, it would likely fall into this category. A phone with a battery that could potentially overheat to the point of explosion or causing burns to the user is an example of a product with a design defect.
It is important to note that this does not include products like knives or power saws that have an inherent potential to cause harm to consumers regardless of their design.
Products with defects that are due to mistakes in manufacturing could be included in this category, as well as products that were damaged during shipping from the manufacturer to the distributor and sold to consumers. A car tire that was made with misaligned treads or weakened material is an example of a product with a manufacturing defect.
Marketing Defects / Failure to Warn
If a product does not include warning about potential hazards of injury during use, it may be in the category of marketing defects / failure to warn. This may also include a product that does not come with instructions for proper use to avoid injury.
An example of a marketing defect / failure to warn would be a mattress made from flammable material that does not include a warning that the mattress should not be used near open flames or heating sources.
Product Liability in the State of Texas
In Texas, if a faulty product causes an injury to a consumer, it is considered a strict liability offense. This means that a product liability lawyer would need to show that the injury to the consumer was caused by the defective product.
In a strict liability state, the law does not require that you prove that the product defect was caused by negligence. The existence of the defect, whether it was in design, manufacturing, or marketing, is enough to show that the company is responsible for the injury to the consumer.
Texas has a 15-year statute of limitations on bringing a product liability claim. This means that the consumer has 15 years from the date of purchase to file a product liability case for an injury due to a product defect.
It should be noted that there are exceptions in cases where the warranty for the product extends beyond 15 years. There also may be options to file after 15 years if the injury was not discovered until a later point. An example of this is a person diagnosed with a health issue that was caused by past use of a defective product.
Do I Need a Product Liability Lawyer?
If you believe that a defective product caused an injury to you or a loved one, you deserve compensation for the damages. Proving that an injury was caused by a faulty product may require an extensive investigation or expert witnesses. A product liability lawyer can help you prove your case and get the full compensation due to you.
Product liability cases can become complex if your injury was due to a product that was manufactured at multiple locations, for example. Having an experienced product liability lawyer with knowledge of state statutes and case law will make your claim much stronger.
At the Lopez Law Group we believe that no one should have to suffer a loss for using a defective product. We fight aggressively for our clients to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their damages. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your case get a fair chance in court.