Personal injury cases dealing with a product defect can be very complicated without an experienced attorney who understands Texas product liability law. There are many terms that plaintiffs will not likely understand, such as strict liability and implied warranty.
As such, when filing product liability lawsuits over a defective or dangerous product, it is good for the plaintiff to have a reliable law firm behind them. The top-rated law firm when it comes to Houston product liability claims is Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys.
Victims who have suffered injuries caused by manufacturing defects, or other problems in the manufacturing process, need to call this top-tier law firm and schedule a free evaluation of their case. Houston's most recommended product liability lawyers are just one call away.
The Main Elements of a Product Liability Claim
In a personal injury claim addressing a defective product, there are four main elements that a good lawyer needs to prove negligence, and these are:
The plaintiff suffered injuries or other damages/loses
Evidence of a design or manufacturing defect can be shown
The injured party can link their injuries to the defective product (the defect caused the injury)
Injuries were sustained even though the plaintiff used the product in the way the manufacturer intended
The Burden of Proof in a Defective Product Liability Claim
Many victims of an unreasonably dangerous or defective product find themselves wondering "How do you prove a product is defective in court?" Well, in a defective product claim, the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also give more insight on questions like, "What is the burden of proof in a product liability case?"
This means, before being awarded damages to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other losses in a product liability lawsuit, the following proof is required:
Manufacturing Defect Claim
When an ordinary consumer buys a product, they expect to be able to use it safely as long as they follow the manufacturer's requirements. However, what happens when serious injury occurs even while the product was being used correctly?
One of the things considered is that a manufacturing defect caused the injury. An example of such defective product injuries is being electrocuted by an iron due to faulty wiring. If the product defect can be shown, proving fault is easy using strict liability theories.
Design Defect Claim
A more difficult-to-prove product liability claim is one involving design defects. In this case, the plaintiff will be claiming that even though there is no manufacturing defect, the design of the product itself is what caused their injuries, resulting in medical bills and other losses.
The personal injury attorney representing the plaintiff will have to prove that the poor design of the product made it unreasonably dangerous. There are easy-to-win situations, such as when flammable materials are used to manufacture clothing items that later lead to the victims suffering severe burns.
However, some designs may result in a dangerous product but the manufacturer has no other way of designing them more safely. An example is a very dangerous tool that is important but can also cause a lot of harm, such as a meat cleaver.
In such cases, if the plaintiff cuts themselves using the cleaver, they cannot point to any defects in the way it was designed, because all knives are supposed to be sharp and, therefore, dangerous products.
Failure to Warn Claim
Sticking with the example of a meat cleaver, the dangers associated with this tool are obvious, therefore the manufacturer does not necessarily have a duty to warn the consumer about cutting themselves. However, what happens when the dangers are not so obvious?
In such a case, the manufacturer has a responsibility to warn the consumer of the dangers associated with using that product. The more hidden the danger or defect is, the greater the duty to provide adequate warnings to the consumer.
If such warnings are not communicated to the consumer, the plaintiff can file a failure to warn claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the product. In some cases, even when warnings are in place, they may not be clear enough for the consumers to easily see, in which case, the manufacturer may still be held liable.
Typical Evidence Needed in a Product Liability Claim
With so many considerations to make in a strict liability case, solid evidence will be required if the plaintiff is going to win against the defendant or their insurance company. The following are some examples of the kind of evidence that can help plaintiffs launch a successful claim against negligent manufacturers:
Written evidence that the manufacturer knew about the defective product, such as marketing materials or emails
Proof of medical expenses and lost wages, such as medical records and payroll information
Well-documented proof of all the injuries sustained, such as accident reports, statements from expert witnesses, photos, and medical records
Any documents containing information about the product, specifically regarding its use or design
Proof of purchase, such as receipts or sales contracts
The defective product itself, whether it is damaged or not
Who Can Sue for Defective Products
The law used to require that only the person who purchased the defective product could sue the manufacturer for any injuries caused by its defects. This was called “privity of contract.”
However, this has since changed. These days, anyone who is injured while using the product can sue the manufacturer for the injuries they sustained.
A good example is when a worker is injured by a defective machine while on the job. While it is the company that purchased the machine, the injured worker can sue the manufacturer directly.
Dealing With Product Liability Law? A Product Liability Lawyer Can Help
With a long-standing reputation of providing the best attorney/client relationship in Houston, Texas, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is the go-to law firm for any victims who have suffered losses and injuries caused by defective products. They can explain how to file a product liability claim.
Proving that a defectively manufactured product was the cause of serious injuries can be complicated in some cases. However, an experienced Houston person injury attorney can help. Victims should call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today and set up a free consultation.