Product Liability: Holding Manufacturers Accountable

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Introduction

Every day, consumers rely on a wide range of products, from household appliances to automobiles, to improve their quality of life. We trust that these products are safe to use, but unfortunately, not all products meet the necessary safety standards. When a defective product causes harm, it can lead to devastating injuries or even loss of life. In such cases, it’s crucial to understand product liability laws and how they allow consumers to hold manufacturers, and sometimes distributors and sellers, accountable for their negligence. At The Law Office of David M. Kennedy, we specialize in personal injury cases, including product liability claims. In this blog, we will explore product liability and your rights as an injured consumer and/or user of the product.

Understanding Product Liability

Product liability is a branch of personal injury law that holds manufacturers, distributors, and sellers responsible for placing dangerous or defective products into the hands of consumers. When a product proves to be defective and causes injury or harm, the injured party may have a legal right to seek compensation.

Product liability cases typically involve one or more of the following types of defects:

  1. Design Defects: These defects occur when a product’s design is inherently dangerous or flawed, making it unsafe for its intended use. Design defects affect all units of a product.
  2. Manufacturing Defects: Manufacturing defects happen during the production or assembly of a product and result in individual units being different from the intended design. These defects can affect only a limited number of units.
  3. Failure to Warn or Inadequate Instructions: Manufacturers must provide clear warnings about any potential risks associated with the product’s use. If they fail to do so, or if their instructions are unclear, it can lead to injuries.

Proving a Product Liability Claim

To succeed in a product liability claim, the injured party (plaintiff) typically needs to establish the following elements:

  1. Defective Product: The plaintiff must prove that the product in question was defective in design, manufacture, or lacked adequate warnings or instructions.
  2. Injury or Harm: The plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered an injury or harm as a direct result of using the defective product.
  3. Product’s Condition: At the time of the injury, the product must be in substantially the same condition as when it left the manufacturer’s control, ensuring that no alterations or misuse occurred.
  4. Intended Use: The plaintiff must have used the product in a foreseeable or manner intended by the manufacturer.
  5. Causation: There must be a direct link between the product’s defect and the plaintiff’s injury or harm.

Types of Product Liability Cases

Product liability cases can encompass a wide range of products and industries. Some common examples include:

  1. Defective Automobiles: This category covers vehicles with design or manufacturing defects that can lead to accidents or injuries, such as faulty brakes, airbags, or tires. Additionally, a seatback breaking is often overlooked as a direct cause that needs to be investigated.
  2. Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Liability: Injuries can result from the use of defective drugs, medical devices, or implants, often due to design flaws or inadequate warnings. However, the pharmaceutical industry has lobbied for and received a lot of protection from lawsuits in Texas.
  3. Household Appliances: Defective appliances can lead to fires, electrical shocks, or other hazards in the home.
  4. Toys and Children’s Products: Products intended for children may have design or manufacturing defects that pose risks such as choking, poisoning, or injuries. Another area of liability has been in and around the bedding provided to infants.
  5. Construction Defects: Defects in building materials or construction methods can lead to accidents and injuries on construction sites or in completed structures.

Your Rights as an Injured Consumer

As a consumer, you have rights when it comes to holding manufacturers and possibly those in the supply chain accountable for defective products. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a faulty product, here are the steps to take:

  1. Preserve Evidence: Keep the defective product, any packaging, receipts, and documentation of the injury. These will be essential in building your case.
  2. Seek Medical Attention: Your health should always be your top priority. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
  3. Consult an Attorney: Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney like David M. Kennedy, who is board certified and specializes in product liability cases. They can assess the strengths and potential weaknesses of your case and guide you through the legal process.
  4. Document Your Injuries: Maintain detailed records of your medical treatment, including doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and any recommendations for further care or rehabilitation.
  5. Do Not Communicate with Manufacturers or Insurers: Avoid discussing your case with the manufacturer or their insurance company without consulting your attorney. Anything you say could potentially be used against you.

Why You Need an Attorney Specializing in Product Liability

Product liability cases can be complex and expensive, often involving multiple parties, intricate legal regulations, and substantial resources on the part of manufacturers and their insurers. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide significant benefits:

  1. Investigation: Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, including expert opinions and industry standards, to build a strong case.
  2. Negotiation: Your attorney will negotiate with the responsible parties, aiming to secure fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
  3. Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will be prepared to take your case to court and advocate for your rights in front of a judge and jury.
  4. Peace of Mind: By entrusting your case to a skilled attorney, you can focus on your recovery, knowing that your legal interests are in capable hands.

Conclusion

Injured consumers have the right to hold manufacturers accountable for dangerous or defective products. Product liability laws are designed to protect you when you are harmed by a product’s defects. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a faulty product, consult with a personal injury attorney at The Law Office of David M. Kennedy. We are dedicated to helping you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your product liability case. Your well-being and safety are our top priorities. Call (903) 819-0720 or click here to email our law office.

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David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy has over 30 years experience representing individuals and businesses in matters of civil litigation, especially personal injury and wrongful death. He is licensed in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

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Contact Us

Call Us 903-819-0720

Law Office of David M. Kennedy, P.C.

320 N. Travis St., Suite 207
Sherman, TX 75090

Email: Click Here

Map and Directions

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