At DC Law, our attorneys are proficient in trying product liability cases to protect consumers against residual harm they’ve endured due to defective consumer goods. When a product you rely and depend on proves to be faulty, or worse, causes you harm, the ramifications can be disastrous.
While many products we use every day are comprised of intricate mechanical systems and compounds, even items that are fairly simple can have moving parts and sharp edges that can cause an injury if they are not properly manufactured. As consumers, we expect the products, including household items, protective gear, and medications, we’re being sold to work without fault, as it’s a manufacturer’s job to ensure that’s the case.
Injuries caused by faulty and defective consumer products can have severe complications, especially if such injury results in loss of wages, high medical bills, and an overall negative impact on one’s life. With the experienced Austin product liability lawyers at DC Law by your side, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your injury-related damages.
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WHAT IS PRODUCT LIABILITY?
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of a manufacturer to ensure that the products it releases to the market are safe for consumers use. When someone is injured because of a manufacturer’s failure to create a safe product, the manufacturer is liable for the victim’s damages. In other words, the manufacturer may be required to compensate the victim for the financial expenses he or she faced as a result of the injury.
How a Consumer Product Can be Harmful
There are a few different ways a product can be dangerous for consumers. These are:
When there is a flaw in the product’s design and it is manufactured according to this design, all existing copies of the product are dangerous. Take 3M Military Earplugs, for instance, which caused hearing loss for veterans. Depending on the product and the nature of the flaw, the product might malfunction or fail to protect the user from inherent safety risks in using it.
In certain cases, a product’s design is perfectly safe, but there is an error in manufacturing that renders it unsafe. This could be an improperly placed part, the substitution of a part or material other than the one called for in the original design, or simply not securing parts of the product together. With this type of error, a specific batch of products could be dangerous while other batches are completely safe.
Marketing Defects & Failure to Warn
Certain items have inherent risks. These items must have clear, understandable warnings and safety instructions for users. Other items can potentially cause harm if they are not used properly. These, too, must have safety instructions and must be accurately advertised. When an item’s marketing suggests that it does not have safety risks or that using the item in a specific manner is appropriate, the company that marketed the product could be liable for the victim’s subsequent damages.
What to do if You’ve Been Injured by a Consumer Product in Texas
Do not throw the product away. Keep it, along with photographs of the accident and your injury at the time, in a safe place. These are pieces of evidence you will need to support your product liability claim. Seek medical attention for the injury as soon as you can. Receiving prompt medical care will not only improve your chance of making a full recovery, but it will also help support your claim by showing that your injury was severe enough to warrant timely medical care.
After you have received medical attention, contact an experienced product liability attorney to determine which party’s negligence caused your injury to occur. Manufacturers are not the only parties who have product liability. Product distributors, retailers, and installers all have the responsibility to prevent injuries by taking the appropriate level of care when packaging, promoting, using, or installing a product.
If the faulty product was recalled by its manufacturer but remained on a store’s shelf where you purchased it, then suffered an injury by using it, the product’s retailer could be the negligent party in your claim. In another example, if you purchased an appliance and the installer failed to make sure your home’s electrical system was properly grounded before installing it, causing you to suffer a shock, the installer could be liable for your damages. In some cases, more than one party is found to be negligent. Your lawyer can examine your case and the evidence you present to determine the negligent party in your product liability case.
Recoverable Damages in Local Defective Product Lawsuits
In addition to the ailments incurred by defective or harmful products, there are residual damages that a lawyer can help a plaintiff recover, including:
The intention of compensatory damages is to help the victim return to the financial and emotional position they were in before being injured by a defective product.
Special damages speak to the calculable expenses and financial losses experienced by the plaintiff, including out-of-pocket expenses, medical costs, lost income, reduced earning capacity, and transportation costs.
General damages refer to the losses that aren’t as easily calculated, such as pain and suffering or loss of future wages. While these damages can’t make up for the harm incurred, they attempt to reimburse the emotional and physical anguish experienced by victims.
PRODUCT LIABILITY CASES THAT HAVE RECEIVED NATIONAL ATTENTION
3M Military Earplugs
Between the years of 2003 and 2015, the manufacturer 3M knowingly provided U.S. military with defective earplugs used in combat. Since then, veterans and active duty military members have experienced hearing loss and tinnitus as a result. DC Law’s Dan Christensen, who used to serve as a prosecutor and defense counselor in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, is passionate about helping veterans and current service members who’ve been harmed due to 3M’s defective earplugs.
As a popular heartburn medication, Zantac was commonly found in pharmacies across the country until April of 2020 when the FDA officially issued a recall notice. Complaints against the manufacturer claim that they had knowledge of a link between Zantac and cancer but actively worked to cover it up. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer and have also taken Zantac, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Talcum, which is found in baby powder, cosmetic products, and other everyday household items, has been linked to increased risk of developing ovarian cancer and mesothelioma when it’s contaminated with asbestos. Johnson & Johnson, alongside other talc manufacturers, have since been held liable for producing and selling asbestos-contaminated talc products even though they allegedly knew of the health risks. If you’ve developed ovarian cancer and mesothelioma after using talc products, you might be eligible for compensation.
If you or your child suffered an injury after using an item as it was intended to be used, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages through a product liability claim. To learn more about filing and pursuing a product liability claim, contact our team of experienced Austin lawyers today to set up your initial consultation. We can answer all of your questions and talk to you about your rights as a personal injury claimant.