Every year, hundreds of people are injured by defective products, and too many of those people put the blame on themselves without finding out whether in fact negligent designers or manufacturers are at fault. Hazardous chemicals, dangerous machinery, faulty tools, and more, all cause misery for people and result in damages that can have lasting impacts on your health, finances, and wellbeing. Contacting a Houston product liability lawyer is an essential first step in discovering whether you have a claim.
Figuring out who is responsible for your compensation is tricky, and proving it in court can be tough, but your attorneys are skilled and experienced in these areas, and they will advise you on how to proceed, what to expect, and will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are the three main situations where a product liability attorney should be your first phone call.
3 Situations to Hire a Product Liability Lawyer
1. If a Product Has a Defective Design
This describes situations where you are using a product and using it as it was designed to be used, and you suffer an injury. This could be something like a table whose legs don’t provide sufficient balance, leading to it collapsing on someone or a tool that requires the user to hold it at an awkward angle, leading to muscle strain. Cases of this sort can be especially urgent if the product is used widely.
In order to successfully claim for a case of defective design, your attorneys will attempt to prove that you have come into contact with the product, then they will assert the defective design of that product, and finally demonstrate the causal link between you and that product. Each of these steps is key since without all three it could be said that your injury came from some other event, or from improper use of the product.
Trying to identify a defective design can be tricky, and most people don’t have the expertise in these areas to allow them to prove liability of this kind. A product liability lawyer, on the other hand, is trained and experienced in the field and will know how to demonstrate to a court that the responsibility for your injury lies with the product’s designer.
2. If a Product Has a Manufacturing Defect
This is probably the most common form of defect that leads to a product liability claim in Houston since the manufacturer is often responsible for producing large numbers of different kinds of products, which increases the likelihood of mistakes. Unlike the design defect liability, manufacturing defect liability operates on the claim that although the original idea for the product is safe, this specific example of the product with which you have interacted does not match the design that was created.
There are any number of ways this could happen, from wear and tear in a machine used to manufacture the product resulting in sharp edges or insecure fastenings, to human error resulting in improper assembly, to environmental factors like dust and dirt getting mixed up in the material a product is made from, and many other possibilities. In these cases, it will be the manufacturer, not the designer or the retailer, who is liable for the injury that was suffered.
3. If a Product Has a Labeling, Advertising, or Warning Defect
Even if a product is carefully tested during the design phase and manufactured expertly with top-quality materials and tools, there could still be risks resulting from improper use of the product which customers and users need to be made aware of. It might happen that a retailer markets the product as being intended for some use other than it was designed for, through error and misunderstanding. In that case, a customer who used the product as advertised might be injured.
Alternatively, it could easily happen that labeling, marketing, and advertising mislead the customer about the inherent risks of a product. There are plenty of products that have the potential to cause harm if not treated properly, and it is the retailer’s duty to advise customers of this potential for injury at the point of purchase. Obviously not every possible risk has to be covered by the retailer, only those which can be discovered by the best available knowledge.
A common example of cases in which warnings and advertising are of great importance is in the case of medicine. It might be that the warning provided is unclear, or difficult to locate on the product, or perhaps there may be side effects to a medicine that were not advertised at all by the pharmaceutical company. From more nefarious examples like pharmaceutical malpractice to seemingly silly nut allergy warnings on bags of peanuts, defective labeling is a huge area of liability.
4. Contacting a Houston Product Liability Lawyer
Injuries caused by defective and improperly labeled products occur all the time, and if you have been injured there’s a good chance someone owes you compensation for the damages you have suffered. Houston product liability attorneys are only an email or a phone call away, and they have hundreds of hours of expertise in these cases to help you figure out what you are owed and to represent your interests in court.
If you or one of your loved ones has been injured by a product, and you suspect it wasn’t your fault, contact an attorney to find out whether it was a design defect, a mistake by the manufacturer, or a mistake in the retailer’s labeling that caused the injury and find out what sort of compensation you could receive for your losses.