Product Liability Injury
Product Liability Lawyer in San Antonio
We expect products to be safe for us to use or consume. Whether it’s food, a toy, a piece of clothing, a household appliance, a medical device — we never expect it to cause harm or even death. Unfortunately, consumer products cause injury to people young and old every day. When this happens, injured parties have the right to file a product liability lawsuit. In many cases, the product that harmed one person has also harmed others. If you’ve suffered a defective product injury, you need a San Antonio product liability lawyer. The legal team at Janicek Law is extremely knowledgeable about products liability law. We have successfully represented clients throughout Texas in lawsuits against defective product manufacturers.
Please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today to establish your attorney-client relationship and get started on your products liability claim.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability is a legal term that refers to holding sellers and manufacturers accountable for their harmful or deadly products.
Manufacturers and sellers are required by law to produce safe products for consumers. So, when a product is defective (either by design or manufacture) and causes injury or death, manufacturers and sellers could face a product liability lawsuit. It doesn’t matter if they did or didn’t know about the defect. This legality protects buyers when they use/consume a dangerous or defective product.
Defective product liability claims are based on negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and misrepresentation.
- Negligence: Manufacturers and sellers did not take reasonable care when creating or selling the product.
- Strict Liability: Manufacturers must only sell safe products to consumers. The person injured by the product must demonstrate that the product was defective and that it directly caused their injury.
- Misrepresentation: A product’s marketing intentionally or negligently provides consumers with a false sense of security about the product.
- Breach of Warranty: If a product doesn’t meet the requirements outlined in the product’s warranty, the manufacturer may be in breach of contract.
- Express warranty and implied warranty are the two warranty types. A manufacturer or seller’s claim about the product and its safety is an express warranty. An implied promise that the product is safe when used correctly is an implied warranty.
If you suffered a serious injury while using a product as intended, speak with a San Antonio product liability lawyer right away to file a lawsuit. We can help you gather enough evidence to prove the aforementioned elements in a lawsuit.
Types of Product Liability Claims That Janicek Law Handles
The San Antonio product liability lawyers at Janicek Law handle various claims about dangerous and defective products. We are well versed in the Texas statutes addressing faulty products and consumer harm. When you retain our legal counsel, we thoroughly investigate the dangerous or defective product while gathering evidence and determining the liable party (or parties).
Some of the most common types of unreasonably dangerous products are listed below.
All drugs must first receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before being available to consumers. Even so, many drugs often prove harmful over time. The public may consume a particular medication for years before medical professionals connect adverse patient outcomes to it.
Examples of drugs that originally received FDA approval but were later found to cause drug injuries include heartburn and acid reflux medicines, birth control pills, pain medication, testosterone, blood clotting prescriptions, and certain immunizations.
Over-the-counter medications may also pose a health threat. OTC medications are not subject to FDA approval, and sometimes they’re not tested until after they’re on store shelves. This means you could buy a bad drug at the store and suffer a severe injury after taking it.
If you suffered injuries caused by prescription drugs or OTC medications, please call the San Antonio defective product lawyers at Janicek Law right away.
Medical devices must also have FDA approval before becoming available to consumers. However, sometimes months or years of using a medical device show that it’s linked to severe or life-threatening side effects.
Examples of medical devices found to be hazardous after getting FDA approval include some brands of hip and knee replacements, IVC filters, certain breast implants, and vaginal and hernia meshes.
Among the most common product liability claims are motor vehicles and auto parts. Every automobile on the road must be in top shape. Due to their size and weight, they can cause extensive damage when a car accident occurs.
But sometimes you can't avoid a manufacturer's defect even if you have your car maintenance regularly. You and your passenger’s safety is undoubtedly at risk if a car part is poorly manufactured or installed.
Typical automobile manufacturing defects include seat belts, airbags, tires, power steering, brakes, fuel systems, and power steering.
If you are injured in a car crash due to an auto manufacturer's defect, call Janicek Law for help.
Another common type of defective products are children’s toys. A manufacturing or design defect may cause deadly suffocation, strangulation, or choking hazards to children. Poorly made large items may crush, injure, or even trap children.
Children may also suffer from flammable products and harmful ingredients in medications or foods. Lastly, children can suffer major injury or death by ingesting non-edible products that look like candy.
Examples of Product Liability Cases
When a faulty product affects large numbers of consumers, legal action is often taken in the form of mass torts, class action lawsuits, or multidistrict litigation (MDL). These types of cases can make headlines and receive heavy media coverage.
Two product liability cases that received a lot of attention include:
Takata Airbag Recall
Takata airbags were manufactured by 19 different motor companies, including BMW, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi. This airbag recall was the largest and most complex in history.
The product was deemed unreasonably dangerous because it released hundreds of tiny metal shards and airbag components upon deployment. The airbags frequently exploded, causing blunt-force trauma and lacerations. More than 400 injuries and at least 27 deaths were reported worldwide.
Injuries resulting from poorly manufactured tires can be life-threatening. These tires can cause serious car crashes from blowouts and rapid tread breakdown. Other common types of tire defects include sidewall blisters, tread separation, bead failure, and rim failure.
In the early 2000s, Bridgestone and Ford Motor Company recalled specific Firestone tires installed on Ford Explorers and similar vehicles. The recall involved 14.1 million tires in the United States alone. More than 800 injuries and 271 deaths were reported in the U.S. plus more internationally.
These tire recalls led Congress to enact the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD).
Types of Product Defects
Three categories of defects can prompt a product liability action. These categories are design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
Manufacturing defects are generally the easiest for San Antonio product liability attorneys to represent.
If there is a design flaw in a product, the entire line is defective, not just one item. This is the reason why recalls target mass amounts of products.
Strict liability applies to these cases, so liability is not based on malice or actual negligence.
Meanwhile, a manufacturing defect only affects a few products and not the entire line. This type of defect is caused by the manufacturing process, not the design.
Manufacturing defects are the most common type of product liability litigation.
A marketing defect is also known as “failure to warn.” In other words, the company failed to warn its consumers about potential hazards or it failed to provide detailed instructions for use.
Product warning labels should be conspicuous and placed near the hazard. Warnings may be inadequate because of poor wording, placement, etc.
How Does a Recall Affect a Defective Product Injury Claim?
Issuing a recall does not protect manufacturers from the repercussions of making a defective product available to the public. The purpose of a recall is reducing the number of injured consumers by removing the product from the market.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Defective Product Injury?
Specific case details determine who is liable for your damages. Potentially liable parties can include retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. When defective product lawyers take on a product liability claim, they investigate any entity involved in manufacturing, distributing, and selling.
This includes any entity with a hand in the marketing or design of the product. A person with a home-based business and multinational corporations are all manufacturers. Depending on the product’s size, the injured party may include the defective parts manufacturer as well as the party that manufactured the completed product.
When an item is available for sale through a retailer, it implies that the product is safe for public use and consumption. The seller may be accountable for a defective product even though they did not manufacture it.
The wholesaler moves the product from the manufacturer to the retailer. So if the product becomes damaged or contaminated somehow from poor shipping practices, a product liability attorney can sue the wholesaler.
Elements of a Successful Product Liability Claim
In a product liability case, a defective product lawyer must prove the following elements:
- The product is certainly defective.
- The claimant suffered injuries or losses caused by use or consumption of the defective product.
- No one (the manufacturer, the retailer, the wholesaler) warned customers about the defect.
- The consumer acted as a reasonable person by following the product’s guidelines for intended use.
Defective products cause significant financial, physical, and emotional duress. To recover compensation, you will need the assistance of an experienced attorney who is familiar with product liability lawsuits.
What Damages Can an Attorney Help Me Recover in a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Defective product damages are usually special, compensatory, or punitive.
Through these damages, the claimant gets reimbursed for actual out-of-pocket expenses or monetary losses.
After an injury occurs, these damages are intended to make the claimant “whole again” physically, mentally, and financially. They may be actual or general damages.
These damages cover more than just financial compensation. They punish the defendant for their negligent behavior.
These are rare in product liability cases. However, a court or jury may award them if they determine that a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer knew about their product’s hazards, did not recall it, or hid evidence of its threat to public safety while selling it.
A successful product liability lawsuit may reimburse the claimant for:
- Medical Bills
- Wages Lost
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Rental Car Costs
- Physical Pain
- Mental Suffering
- Physical Limitations
- Damage to Property
When Is a Class Action Lawsuit Appropriate?
If the defective product negatively affected many people, then a product liability lawsuit may be filed as part of a class action. This type of lawsuit involves a small group of affected people representing large numbers who have suffered injuries.
It may be appropriate to join a class action when the amount of damages each claimant receives is small, and the legal costs for an individual suit would outweigh its value.
List of Defective Products
Recalled products cover a range of items from food to cars. Pharmaceuticals, medical devices, children’s toys, power tools, and household appliances are among the most defective items.
A comprehensive list of recalled items is listed on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website. The site also includes recall details and contact information for consumers to get information from manufacturers or return items.
Texas’ Product Liability Laws
Texas product liability laws protect consumers from faulty products. The state’s statute of limitations allows injured parties to bring claims for up to two years after an injury occurs.
To have a basis for filing a claim, you must establish liability. One of the following three categories must fit the claim for this to happen: marketing defect, design defect, or manufacturing defect. You must demonstrate that the company was liable for part of your damages to get compensation under a product liability claim.
Experienced Legal Help For Injured Parties And Their Families
At Janicek Law, our team of dangerous product lawyers have helped people in San Antonio and surrounding Texas communities seek compensation for all kinds of personal injuries for over the last 20 years.
We care about our clients and community by fighting to obtain justice for injured parties. This is a big reason why our firm has recovered million-dollar awards for our clients and their families.
Our experienced litigators know the law. We know what is needed to win. We have gone head-to-head with Fortune 500 companies and other large entities — and their insurance companies.
Let us help you.
Set Up A Free Consultation With a Product Liability Lawyer Today
A defective product may have injured you or a loved one, or maybe you lost a spouse or child in an injury caused by a defective product. We know how to help you receive maximum damages for your losses.
San Antonio product liability law firm Janicek Law has helped many satisfied clients win favorable outcomes and fair compensation for their injuries.
Call a defective product lawyer at our offices today at (210) 366-4949. We offer a free consultation to discuss your options for legal recourse and the potential damages you can recover. In addition to product liability for defective products, we handle a range of personal injuries, including 18-wheeler accidents, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.