When you use a product, you expect it to be safe for you to use. Even inherently dangerous products should have modifications to make them as safe as possible without impacting their intended use. Defective products violate that trust. They introduce unnecessary risk to an activity, contributing to or causing injuries. Someone has to bear the costs of those injuries. Defective product liability is a way of shifting that liability from the injured person to those responsible for manufacturing, distributing, or selling those faulty products.
If you were injured because of a defective product, you may have several ways to get compensation for those injuries. It depends on why the product was defective. A West Lake Hills defective products liability lawyer can explain different potential remedies based on the facts of your injury. Learn more about your legal options from a personal injury attorney.
To prove a claim, a person must establish four elements. First, a person must show that the product was defective. Second, they must prove the defect caused the injury. The third element is that the defect was the result of negligence. Finally, they must show the manufacturer breached some warranty.
A product can be dangerous without being defective. For example, chainsaws are inherently hazardous tools. Even when used correctly and with all safety equipment, there is a risk of injury. The user assumes some of that risk when using the tool. In contrast, a user does not assume the same risks when using a pillow. So, the nature of the product helps determine whether a manufacturing detail is a defect.
Second, the defect must cause an injury. The best way to view this is to consider whether the injuries would have occurred without the defect. If so, then the defect was not the cause of the injury. Sometimes, multiple factors can contribute to the injury. So, the defect may be partially responsible for the injury. Under modified comparative fault, the manufacturer may share responsibility with the injured person or third parties in those instances. If the injured person’s responsibility is not greater than 50 percent, they can still recover.
The defect needs to be the result of negligence. The harmed person must show the negligence was on the part of the party they are suing. If there was an unknown or hidden defect in a single batch of a manufacturing process, the manufacturer may be liable in that case, while the seller probably would not. On the other hand, if there was a known defect, but the distributor and seller continued to help sell the products, they may share liability. It is essential to remember that negligence does not mean malice — it just means failing to exercise reasonable care.
The final element is a breach of warranty. Even absent a written warranty, part of any sale is a promise that the product is fit for service. An attorney in West Lake Hills can explain how warranties may impact your defective products lawsuit.
There is another reason to consider a product liability lawsuit. In a capitalist society, profit drives manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. While it is rare for a manufacturer to design a dangerous or defective product intentionally, the decision to recall or redesign products with known risks is often financial. In many famous cases, these profit-driven decisions have been linked to thousands of deaths.
As a product liability lawsuit plaintiff, a person is not simply acting on their own behalf. They are also working for any potential future consumers of those same products. Large settlements or judgments in lawsuits are expensive and can encourage businesses to change their manufacturing processes and improve safety. They are often more effective than many other forms of consumer advocacy. A defective product lawyer in West Lake Hills can explain how a lawsuit could impact consumer safety.
Every purchase has an implied promise that the product will work and be safe for its intended use. Consumers do not have to enter into express contracts to get the benefits of the implied promise. Manufacturers must make products carefully and safely. There are two fundamental product defects—manufacturing and design defects. Both allow a person to recover but may dictate how they should pursue their claim. When a faulty product caused your injuries, meet with a West Lake Hills defective products lawyer.