Every year, thousands of victims across the country are injured by consumer products. The United States has adopted strict laws to hold manufacturers responsible for any injuries caused by their products. This is because consumers are not expected to have detailed knowledge about how a product is designed, or how it might fail, or what injuries could occur as a result. They expect that consumer products will be safe for their intended uses. The law protects this by making it easier for consumers to hold manufacturers accountable for injuries caused by their products. Defective products lawyers can help protect your legal right to be compensated for injuries caused by a defective product.
How Products Liability Works
In most personal injury cases, the injury victim must prove that the defendant was negligent. The defendant then has a legal obligation to compensate for all injuries and losses that were caused by that negligence. For example, car accident cases usually start with the drivers’ insurance companies determining who was “at fault” for the accident. This driver will likely be found negligent due to distracted driving, or speeding, or running a red light, or some other traffic violation. The negligent driver’s insurance company will then compensate victims who were injured by this negligent driving behavior.
Products liability laws are a little different. Injury victims do not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent because manufacturers are held to a standard of “strict liability.” This means that they are strictly liable for any injuries caused by their products – regardless of whether they were negligent. This makes it easier for an injury victim to prove a products liability case. There are some defenses to a products liability case: if, for example, the product was not being used as intended, the manufacturer may not be liable for injuries that result. (This is why kitchen products are often labeled “not for commercial use,” and holiday lights might be labeled for only indoor use.) There are also defenses if the plaintiff has modified the product, or breached certain warranties, or if the statute of limitations has expired on the claim. But on the whole, strict liability makes it much easier for a plaintiff to prove a products liability case than other types of personal injury claims.
The Special Rules for Products Designed for Children
Manufacturers work hard to design and produce safe products in order to reduce the risk of injury to consumers. Making products “as safely as possible” is no defense to a products liability claim, so the only way to reduce their liability is to actually reduce the number of accidents that happen. This is especially important when it comes to products made for children and is a responsibility that defective product lawyers don’t take lightly. While adult consumers can read warnings and user manuals, children have no such protection. Children do not even have the same basic safety instincts as adults: they are likely to put toys in their mouths or try to pull over heavy furniture or take other dangerous actions that adults have the common sense to avoid. This means that products that would be safe for adults can still injure children. When this happens, the manufacturer is still liable for the injuries – even if an adult would have been able to avoid the accident.
There are many types of products that are designed for infants and small children. Formula and baby food, toys, clothes, bedding, furniture, carriers, dishes – all of these products must be designed in a way that accounts for the increased risk of injury to a child. When a defect is found, it is often cheaper for a manufacturer to issue a recall than to litigate future products liability cases. This is why there are so many recalls issued for children’s products. Parents can monitor recall alerts online to learn about any potential problems. There are many government agencies and watchdog groups that are designed to protect consumers, and they offer a wealth of information for parents.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with Defective Product Lawyers in Dallas, TX
Products liability is an important area of personal injury law. Many injury victims do not realize that they have the right to sue a manufacturer for injuries caused by a consumer product – or that manufacturer will be held to the high standard of strict liability. It is important to exercise your rights under a product liability claim. Not only do you have the right to be compensated for your injuries and losses, but holding the manufacturer responsible will also help make the product safer for other innocent consumers. The experienced Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Jackman Personal Injury know how to handle products liability cases. Call (972) 961-2707 to schedule your consultation today.