Injured by a Defective Product?
Dallas Product Liability Attorney
When you buy a product for your home, vehicle, or business, you expect that it will work as described and be safe to use. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and a defective product can cause an innocent consumer to sustain serious injury or illness. If you were harmed because of a defective product, it is important that you discuss your legal options with a Dallas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Manufacturers and retailers have a responsibility to protect consumers from potential harm by ensuring that their products are safe for use and that all potential dangers are disclosed. If you were harmed by a defective product, you can seek justice for your injuries and losses from the responsible party under product liability law.
What makes a product legally defective?
Defective products include a variety of items, including vehicles and auto parts, toys, household appliances, toys and child care items, medications, medical products, and cleaning products. Under product liability law there are three main types of defects, and these affect design, manufacturing, and marketing of a product. If you believe you have grounds to pursue compensation under product liability law, contact our firm at once to discuss your legal options.
In some situations, the product is defective from the get-go, because of an issue with the actual design that makes the product unreasonably dangerous. Before full scale manufacturing begins, the manufacturer must perform adequate testing on the product to determine if it will be safe for consumer use. If a company does not test properly test the safety of the product, they could be held liable for any injuries sustained by consumers. Claims involving defective designs often require the victim, also known as the plaintiff, to show that the manufacturer was negligent. The manufacturer can be held liable if the plaintiff can present evidence that proves that there was an alternative, cost-effective design that could have prevented injury. If the product was so dangerous that it should have never been manufactured to begin with, to hold the manufacturer liable the defendant may not even need to prove that there was a safer design available.
Manufacturing defects occur when, despite a safe design, the finished product does not meet the designer or manufacturer's own standards or specifications. Manufacturing defects can be the result of cutting corners during the production process or the failure to manufacture the product as specified in the design. These cases are often easier to prove, but it can be difficult to show how or why the defect occurred. Because of this, product liability law includes two special doctrines that assist plaintiffs even if they cannot present evidence of the manufacturer's negligence. The first doctrine focuses on the fact that defect itself is evidence, because it would not exist if someone had not been negligent. The second doctrine involves strict liability, and means that the plaintiff does not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, but simply that the product is defective.
The marketing of a product is defective if the manufacturer failed to provide adequate information or provided incorrect information to consumers. Marketing defects can include a lack of clear safety instructions, the mislabeling of products or ingredients, and a failure to properly warn of all possible dangers of using the product. Defective marketing can also be the result of intentional or negligent misrepresentation of a product.
Negligence & Tortious Misrepresentation in Product Liability Cases
The existence of negligence is a key part of any product liability case. In order to pursue compensation for injuries under the theory of negligence, the plaintiff will be required to prove five basic elements.
- The manufacturer owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The manufacturer breached this duty owed to the plaintiff
- The breach of duty was the actual cause of injury to the plaintiff
- The breach of duty was the proximate cause of injury to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff sustained quantifiable damages as result of the manufacturer's negligence
Manufacturers are responsible to exercise a reasonable standard of care. Even if the plaintiff can prove that the manufacturer breached this duty, they must still prove that they would not have been injured if it were not for the manufacturer's negligent actions, and that the manufacturer could have foreseen the possible risks when the product was manufactured.
Many product liability cases are based upon the fact that the manufacturer conveyed misleading or false information about the product, otherwise known as tortious misrepresentation. In these cases, the basis for pursuing compensation does not depend on the product's defect, but rather the false communication on part of the manufacturer. There are three main forms of tortious misrepresentation:
- The manufacturer commits fraudulent misrepresentation or deceit if they know that the information they are conveying is false and they intended to mislead the plaintiff with this information.
- The manufacturer commits negligent misrepresentation if they were negligent in confirming whether statements provided were true.
- Some jurisdictions allow the plaintiff to pursue strict liability in cases that involve a manufacturer making a public statement about a product's safety.
Do you have grounds for a product liability claim?
If you were injured or sustained an illness because of a defective product, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible, because you have only two years from the date of the injury to seek compensation. Our team at Marina Legal Group, PLLC may be able to help you pursue a fair settlement for your injuries and losses, so contact a Dallas defective product attorney from our firm today to discuss your legal options.