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Dallas Product Liability Attorney

Manufacturers of consumer products have a legal obligation to ensure their products perform as advertised, meet all applicable industry regulations, and contain adequate instructions and safety warnings for users. If a person suffers an injury from a defective product, he or she can pursue compensation for the damages through a product liability claim. Product liability claims can be very complex, and the right attorney can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of a plaintiff’s case.

At Fielding Law, we have experience handling cases in various practice areas, including product liability law. It’s crucial for injured victims to know their rights and understand the steps to take after an injury from a consumer product. Time is also a critical factor because a newly discovered defective product can help prevent injuries to other consumers by alerting the manufacturer of the risk as soon as possible. Most product manufacturers who identify defective products will issue recalls to have those products returned.

How Can an Dallas Product Liability Attorney Help?

Proving a product liability case is often a complex process requiring a great deal of experience and expertise. Should your case require going to trial, you will want someone familiar with the courtroom and experienced in product liability claims. Additionally, your attorney will have the understanding to determine all the parties who may be responsible in a product liability case. While anyone can bring a product liability claim, having a lawyer greatly improves your odds of receiving the compensation you are entitled to after an injury.

Fielding Law Will Fight for You

It’s essential for anyone who has suffered injuries from a defective consumer product to act quickly to protect their rights and increase the chances of succeeding in a product liability claim. The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a product liability case. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a defective product in the Dallas area, contact our office to find out more about how we can help. We offer free case evaluations to new clients and afford every one of our clients direct access to one of our attorneys. Reach out to our Dallas office to schedule your free consultation today with one of our premier Dallas Personal Injury Lawyers.

Types of Product Defects

Products can be defective in one of three possible ways:

  • Defective by design

    • There is some problem with the design of the product, meaning every single unit shares the same defect. Once alerted to the defect, the manufacturer will more than likely issue a recall of all affected products as soon as possible.
  • Defective by manufacturing.

    • There was a problem with the manufacture of the product that caused the defect. This could be due to a missing component, assembly flaw, damaged production materials, broken production equipment, or anything else that interferes with the production process. The manufacturer will likely issue a recall for the affected lots or offer replacements to consumers who purchase affected units.
  • Defective marketing

    • The product’s promotional marketing materials did not accurately represent the product, the product did not contain sufficient instructions for use, or there is an undisclosed safety risk associated with normal use of the product. For example, a consumer who purchases a kitchen knife cannot sue the manufacturer if he or she accidentally cuts his or her hand. That is an assumed risk associated with typical use of a kitchen knife. However, if the handle shatters and causes an injury while the consumer was using the knife normally, he or she may have a product liability claim.

Some manufacturers may attempt to deflect liability for a consumer’s damages by claiming the individual did not use the item correctly, or assumed an acceptable level of risk in use of the product. It will be up to the plaintiff’s attorney to prove that the manufacturer is liable for the plaintiff’s damages. Unlike personal injury claims, the plaintiff’s attorney does not necessarily need to prove that a manufacturer was negligent, only that the product in question was indeed defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Who Can File a Product Liability Claim?

To file a product liability claim, you must have suffered a loss or suffered an injury in some way. While a product may have been defective, if you suffer no actual loss, you cannot pursue a claim for any damages.

However, if a defective product injured you, the manufacturer or distributor may owe you compensation. You do not need to own the defective product to pursue a product liability claim. For example, if you were riding in a friend’s car and a manufacturing defect resulted in your injury, you may pursue compensation for your injury even though you were not the owner of the car.

You also do not have to have been using the product that injured you. If you were walking down the sidewalk and a landscaper is using a defective lawnmower that breaks, causing you injury, you could receive compensation from the mower manufacturer even though you did not own the defective product and were not using it at the time you suffered the injury.

Anyone who has suffered an injury by a product that was defective – and used in the way the manufacturer intended – may file a product liability claim for compensation.

What Damages Can You Claim for Product Liability?

Injuries from defective products are similar to other personal injury cases in Texas. You may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages due to missed time at work, and rehabilitation costs. Additionally, you may seek compensation for pain and suffering, mental and emotional pain, and disfigurement. If a product killed your loved one, you may also seek damages for loss of companionship and the wages your loved one would have earned.

Who Is Responsible in a Product Liability Suit?

The manufacturer of a defective product is generally liable for any injuries from their product’s defect. However, there are other parties who may be responsible – either in addition to the manufacturer or as the sole negligent party. Anyone in the supply chain of the product is responsible for ensuring the products they sell are safe for use. This extends all the way to the retailer who sold you the product in the store. While retailers would have you believe that only the manufacturer is responsible for defective products, they, too, have a responsibility for the products they sell to the public.

In a defective marketing product liability claim, the store may be the only organization responsible in the claim. If store signage or a store employee makes an untrue claim about the product that turns causes harms, the store may be liable for defective marketing.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in a Product Liability Suit?

With product liability claims, the statute of limitations in Texas is normally two years from the date of your injury. While this may seem like a long time, product liability cases can be very complex and take time to establish the facts and merits of the case. There may be others who suffered an injury also. For that reason, it is usually a good idea to begin the process of pursuing a product liability claim as soon as possible after your injury. This gives you the best opportunity to gather your evidence and prove your case. If you fail to meet the deadline, you may have your case dismissed, even if the evidence of your case would ordinarily merit compensation. By beginning the process quickly, you avoid the risk of missing out entirely on compensation due to a missed deadline.

Texas Product Liability Laws

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 82 discusses the state’s products liability laws. Navigating the law is our job, but we understand that most clients want to know as much as they can about laws that may affect their claims. We’re more than happy to meet with you during a free consultation about your claim to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your specific case. In the meantime, some of the state product liability laws we believe you should know as a consumer are as follows:

  • Section 82.001. Definitions. Under Texas law, a “claimant” is the party seeking monetary relief from the seller or manufacturer. A product liability action is a lawsuit against a defendant for damages arising out of injury, death, or property damage a defective product caused.
  • Section 82.001(g). The law entitles an injured claimant in Texas to seek the following damages from a product manufacturer: court costs, reasonable attorney fees, accident-related medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other “reasonable damages.”
  • Section 82.003. A nonmanufacturing product seller could be liable for damages if the claimant can prove that the seller contributed to the design of the product, altered or modified the item from its original state, installed the product, or controlled the warning of instruction that accompanied the product and that this action caused the injuries.
  • Section 82.004. A manufacturer or seller will not be liable if the consumer knew the product was unsafe at the time of the incident and the product is for personal consumption. Examples the statute lists are sugar, butter, alcohol, tobacco, castor oil, and oysters.
  • Section 82.005. “Design defect” claims require the claimant to prove that a safer design alternative existed and that the design flaw was a “producing cause” of the injury or property damage. This provision does not apply to toxic or environmental torts, or drugs or medical devices.
  • Section 82.006. Product liability claims involving firearms require the claimant to prove that the firearm had a defective design and the defect caused the damages. The claimant cannot use a comparison of the benefits vs. risks of the firearm as proof of dangerous design.
  • Section 82.007. Claimants of cases involving defective medicines and inadequate warnings cannot base their lawsuits on labels the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously approved. The claimant must prove that the drug manufacturer withheld or misrepresented information to the FDA or promoted/sold a drug the FDA did not approve.

Our lawyers can help you analyze Texas’ product liability code, abide by the rules, and maximize your odds for compensation. Hiring an attorney to represent your case can significantly improve your chances of success. For more information about the specific laws and codes that may apply to your product liability claim, contact Fielding Law.