product liability lawyers houston

Product Liability Lawyers Houston, TX

The designers, manufacturers, distributors, marketers, and sales operators all have clear safety standards to adhere to. These standards ensure that products on the market are safe. They also ensure that any potential risks are clearly identified on the packaging. These parties hold the responsibility for preventing dangerous products from reaching consumers, as well as warning them of potential dangers that products pose. Lastly, these parties must recall defective products in accordance with federal and state guidelines. If you suffered injuries due to a defective product, you need one of the Houston product liability lawyers at Reich & Binstock.

At Reich & Binstock, our attorneys fight for the rights of the consumers, not large corporations. We know that, when you use a product, you expect it to perform safely and correctly. Sometimes, however, the companies and individuals associated with that product’s creation cut corners. These cost or time-saving tactics lead to injuries and sometimes even the wrongful death of a loved one. That’s why you need our product liability lawyers in Houston for your case. Call today at 713-622-7271 or fill out our online intake form to schedule your free consultation.

Attorneys Dennis C. Reich and Robert J. Binstock, our firm’s founding partners, are board-certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

What Is Product Liability?

Thousands of people are injured every year in the United States as a result of faulty or hazardous goods. Product liability law is a collection of legal principles that govern who is liable for defective or dangerous items. However, it differs from ordinary personal injury law. This collection of laws can make it simpler for someone who has been wounded to recover damages.

A producer or seller might be held responsible for placing a faulty product in the hands of a customer. All sellers of the goods in the distribution chain bear responsibility for a product fault that causes damage. In general, the law demands that a product fulfill the consumer’s usual expectations. When a product contains an unanticipated flaw or hazard, it cannot be considered to satisfy the consumer’s normal expectations.

There is no federal product liability legislation in the United States. Typically, product liability lawsuits are made under the grounds of negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty, and are based on state laws. In addition, each state will have a set of commercial legislation patterned after the Uniform Commercial Code that will include warranty regulations influencing product liability.

What Is Strict Product Liability?

The notion of strict liability in tort law relates to holding one party financially liable without needing proof of real carelessness, recklessness, or tortious intent.

Strict responsibility does not imply that the maker is responsible for any and all losses resulting from the usage of their goods. Victims who file a claim must still show some parts of their case, but unlike other types of lawsuits, comparative culpability is not a factor.

In Texas, product responsibility is a strict liability violation. This indicates that carelessness is irrelevant. The defendant is responsible if there is a flaw in the goods that caused injury. This is based on Chapter 82 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Why Does Strict Liability Apply in Certain Cases?

Manufacturers are in the greatest position to assure the safety of their products prior to placing them on the market. As a result, they can be held solely responsible for any foreseeable injuries caused by a defect or safety fault.

When a Texas business fails to pay for workers’ compensation coverage and an employee is hurt on the job, the employer is held strictly accountable for the whole amount of the employee’s losses. This is true if it can be proven that the employer was even 1% at fault for the accident. Examples include failing to properly train employees, failing to supervise them, and much more.

Even certain cases involving dog bites are subject to strict liability. The one bite rule applies in Texas, which means that if a dog has previously bitten someone (or even attempted to bite someone) and the owner was aware of the animal’s previous dangerous behavior, they can be held 100% liable for the victim’s injuries and financial damages if the dog bites someone else. The same might be said for other animal instances, such as a horse owner who permits a rider to ride a horse with hazardous tendencies.

What Are the Most Common Types of Product Liability Claims?

Product liability cases vary greatly depending on the type of product involved. However, most cases fall into one of three major categories. Whether the case involved defective auto parts, defective medical devices, prescription drugs, or even opioids, it falls into one of the below categories.

  • Defective manufacturing: When it comes to faulty manufacturing, the product in issue has a substantial problem that makes it both harmful and distinct from its similar counterparts. Product liability cases involving defective manufacturing are the most prevalent.
  • Defective design: The issue in defective design situations is with the product’s design rather than the way it was made. These allegations argue that the whole product line, even when used as directed, is fundamentally dangerous to customers.
  • Failure to warn: Products that may be potentially harmful if used wrongly, generally in a way that isn’t immediately evident to the customer, are the subject of failure to warn lawsuits. The producer is obligated to offer warnings or instructions that guide the customer on how to use the product safely in these situations.

Even defective packaging can lead to a valid product liability claim. For example, the recent Exactech recall stems from a defect in the packaging of various joint replacement implants. These packaging defects have led to premature oxygen exposure, which then leads to early wear of the implants.

Who Is Responsible for Defective Product Injuries in Houston?

As a general guideline, you should investigate all parties engaged in the product’s distribution chain. This is the route that the product travels from manufacturing to client distribution. The majority of possibilities are addressed in the sections below. Within each category, there may be more than one possible defendant.

  • Manufacturer: The producer of the injury-causing product is at the start of the distribution chain. The maker might be a large corporation or a single person operating out of their garage. Include any other parties engaged in the product’s production, design, or marketing who may be related to the problem, particularly if they are a separate party from the manufacturer.
  • Retailer: Even though the merchant where you purchased the injury-causing goods did not produce it, the business might still be held responsible for selling you a faulty product. It’s important to remember that it’s not a case of picking one defendant over others. In your case, any party engaged in the distribution chain should be included as a defendant.
  • Distributor or Wholesaler: There may be a variety of wholesalers, suppliers, distributors, or other intermediaries between the producer and the store. Each is possibly responsible in your faulty product case since they are a member of the defective product’s distribution chain.

What If the Defendant Is a Corporation?

Corporations might be the manufacturer, retailer, or anyone else involved in the faulty product’s distribution chain. In terms of product liability law, companies are treated the same as individuals and can be held responsible. Corporations, on the other hand, can often alter their structure, form, and owners through mergers with or acquisitions by other businesses, reorganizations, spin-offs, renaming, and so on. Each of these successor firms may be held liable for its predecessor’s role in the distribution chain of a faulty product. Name these successor firms as defendants in your claim if at all possible.

What Compensation Can I Receive After Being Injured by a Defective Product?

Compensation in product liability cases has the potential to be complex. Below, we list the potential recoverable damages in a product liability case.

Compensatory Damages

If you win a product liability case, you will get compensatory damages at the very least. This is money to compensate you for your financial losses as a result of being exposed to a faulty or harmful product. Compensatory damages are meant to return an injured person to their pre-injury status. Economic and non-economic losses are the two types of damages most commonly seen.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the monetary losses that a person suffers as a result of an injury caused by a faulty or unsafe product. Documents and other financial information may typically be used to assess economic losses. In order to give an accurate estimate of potential losses, wounded victims might depend on evidence from medical, vocational, and financial specialists.

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Long-term care costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage or destruction

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are designed to recompense a victim for intangible losses incurred as a result of their injury. They are regarded as more subjective than economic damages, which are measurable using objective facts and numbers.

In a product liability case, witness evidence, including your own, is usually utilized to determine the amount of non-economic damages you may be entitled to. These statements will focus on the impact of the accident and injuries on your life. Your treating physicians, as well as medical and vocational experts, may be asked to testify about the limitations imposed by your disabilities on your life.

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality or enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive Damages

While compensatory damages serve to make the victim “whole” again, punitive damages serve as punishments for the liable parties. They also serve as deterrents against others committing the same acts.  

However, punitive damages are rare in product liability cases. In most cases where they are awarded, the court imposes them for one of a few common reasons. The manufacturer knew their product was dangerous, failed to recall it, or continued to market the product despite proof of its dangerous nature.

What to Do if You Think You Have a Product Liability Case?

A few things must be demonstrated in order to make a successful product liability claim. Duty, flaw, causality, and damage are some of these components.

  • Duty: The vendor or manufacturer of the goods owes the individual a responsibility to provide them a safe product.
  • Flaw: In order to prove that the product was faulty in any way, the plaintiff must show that it was actually defective in some way.
  • Causality: To establish causation, the plaintiff must show that the product defect was the primary cause of the harm.
  • Harm: The plaintiff must have been injured as a result of the defect to be considered harmed.

You’ll need to make some preparations if you believe you have a product liability case. If at all feasible, salvaging the product would be an excellent place to start. This is frequently used as evidence in court by both sides.

If you have a case containing a warning fault, it’s critical to keep the package and instructions. Begin gathering any medical documents or invoices that prove your injuries or expenditures incurred.

Contact Our Product Liability Lawyers Houston Today

At Reich & Binstock, we have the experience, knowledge, and fortitude to go up against big companies and corporations. No matter how many parties are responsible for your injuries, we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our product liability lawyers Houston, please call 713-622-7271 or fill out our online intake form today.

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