Who is Responsible when You
Sustain an Injury Using a Product?
Major product liability cases make national headlines, such as Tylenol’s cyanide-laced pills or metal shards in Takata airbags. But every day, thousands of products, large and small, fail because they’re defective. And thousands of people are injured or killed as a result.
When you buy a product and use it as it was intended, you trust that the product is safe. But if it’s not, your life and the lives of your loved ones are changed forever. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation.
At Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, for years I’ve helped clients like you in Houston, South Houston, Pasadena, and surrounding Texas communities, fight for justice. Call me today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential product liability claim.
Product Liability in Texas
Some states list product liability under general personal injury statutes. Texas has specific product liability laws that address who is liable for damages caused by defective products and what constitutes a defective product in general and specifically for medicines and firearms and ammunition.
Product liability is the liability of any and all parties involved in the manufacture of a product when defects in that product cause injury or death to a consumer. Sellers in the supply chain can also be held liable if they meet certain criteria.
Who is Responsible for Product Defects?
A product manufacturer has a duty to design and manufacture products that meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. When a defect or danger is unexpected, the manufacturer is liable for the damages sustained by the consumer. The manufacturer also must indemnify or hold harmless the seller of the product harmless unless the seller took certain actions that contributed to the defect.
If the seller helped design a product, altered it, misrepresented it to the consumer, or knew about the defect and still sold the product, the seller can also be held liable for damages.
Claims for product liability cases can be based on theories of negligence, misrepresentation, breach of express or implied warranty, or strict liability. Strict liability means you can hold the manufacturer or seller liable without actually proving fault or carelessness.
Filing a Claim
Filing a product liability claim isn’t difficult but proving it can be. Under Texas law, you must prove four key measures:
- The product was defective. This includes design flaws, manufacturing defects, and a failure to warn the consumer.
- The product was unchanged from the manufacturer. If you or someone else modified the product in some way, you cannot hold the manufacturer liable.
- The defect made the product dangerous. You must prove that the design or manufacturing flaw or the failure to warn made the product dangerous to use.
- The defect caused the injuries sustained by the user. You must prove that the defect caused your injuries, not just that you were injured while using the product.
In Texas, a claimant must file a claim against a manufacturer or seller of a defective product within 15 years from the date the product was purchased. This applies only to products purchased, not leased. If the manufacturer or seller has a written warranty for the product that exceeds 15 years, the claim must be filed within the warranty period from the date of sale.
If successful, a claimant can recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages and earning potential, pain and suffering, disfigurement, physical impairment, and loss of consortium.
Hiring an Experienced Product Liability Attorney
Proving a claim against a manufacturer or seller is complex. It’s vital that you hire an attorney who is well-versed in product liability law, has access to experts who can examine products and deliver testimony, and can stand up to the attorneys representing the manufacturer, seller, and the companies that insure them.
If you believe you or a loved one was injured or killed as the result of a defective product, don’t wait to get started investigating your claim. The consultation regarding your potential claim is free and I don’t collect fees unless you get compensation from the liable parties.
If you live or were injured in Houston, South Houston, Pasadena, Clear Lake, Friendswood, League City, Alvin, Dickinson, Bacliff, Kemah, Seabrook, Santa Fe, or Webster, Texas, call my office today for experienced guidance and fierce representation.