We all expect the things we buy to be of quality and to work properly. There’s a reason that so many retail websites have a review feature. When you’ve spent good money on something that is a piece of junk, you get angry, and you want to tell others.
Bad products, however, can be more than just frustrating. They can be dangerous. If they weren’t properly tested or if they were poorly built, they can cause harm. If using a product, especially a new product that should have been rigorously quality checked, causes injury, it may be possible to sue the manufacturer.
Defective Product Lawsuits
In the state of Texas, consumers have 15 years to file a defective product lawsuit. If the product’s warranty extends beyond that time, it may be possible to sue later than that.
After the 15-year cutoff, it’s still possible to sue if your injury had a “delayed onset.” Delayed onset injuries happen over time, and you may not even be aware of them until much later. For example, a poorly designed keyboard may eventually lead to carpel tunnel syndrome, but you won’t start experiencing symptoms until later in life.
When suing for a product defect, you must prove to the court that the product caused harm. There are a few different ways to make this claim.
When arguing that a product has design flaws, you are showing the court that the very architecture of the product is dangerous. In simpler terms, you are saying that even though the item was made perfectly – with no errors – its very shape, function, design, etc. poses a risk to users. (This argument will not apply to a device that is inherently dangerous, like power tools.)
To make this clearer, let’s look at a giant buzzsaw machine. It has big, spinning blades. If someone doesn’t follow safety precautions and gets hurt while using the machine, they can’t sue and claim that the product was defective. However, the machine could be designed poorly. Maybe certain parts of the machine are positioned in a way that forces the user to get closer to the blades when using it. That situation would make a much stronger case for design flaws.
This happens when there is fault in how the product was made. Something was installed incorrectly, or there is a part that doesn’t work properly. You see this a lot with vehicle recalls. Just recently, there have been several electric cars catching fire due to a battery defect. No one anticipated this problem, and clearly the cars were not designed to burst into flame. This is an example of a defect on a manufacturer level. The product doesn’t work as intended, and if it caused an injury, the injured party can sue.
Perhaps the creator of this product is completely aware of all its design flaws. It knows what parts of its product are inherently dangerous. In that case, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to provide sufficient warning.
Let’s go back to our giant buzzsaw. The consumer is completely aware of the dangers involved with spinning blades. What if the product overheats and burns the user? What if a flaw sometimes causes the blade to jut forward just a little, changing its position? Consumers have no way of knowing about these dangers without proper warning.
That’s the key to proving a failure to warn in court. The defect must be unexpected and unforeseeable. When such defects cause injuries, the makers need to be held accountable.
It is crucial to seek the services of a good lawyer when filing a defective product claim. Jurisdiction of defective products gets messy. This part was made in Japan; but the device was assembled in the states; and none of it was manufactured in Texas. Furthermore, where the injury took place can affect who you can sue and how. You will need the help of an experienced lawyer when trying to decipher who can be held accountable and how.
If you have been injured from a product’s defects, we are here to help you get justice. For a free consultation, call us at (817) 591-4222 or contact us online.