Hazardous & Defective Product Injuries

Austin Injury Lawyers Protecting Victims

It is inevitable that some products will be defective or unsafe, even with regulations and laws. For this reason, personal injury law includes product liability, which deals with incidents involving defective or unsafe products. The manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of products may be held responsible for damages and injuries resulting from the use of defective products.

The products covered in this area of law include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Food
  • Drugs
  • Real estate
  • Equipment
  • Most types of consumer products

About Product Liability

Under product liability law, anyone injured by the use of a product may seek financial recovery. Proof of negligence is also not required in many cases. This is due to product liability's frequent legal classification as "strict liability." This means that negligence is of no consequence and the manufacturer is expected to make a safe product. If a product caused injury, and was used as directed, the manufacturer is responsible regardless.

Use of a product in a way other than that intended by the manufacturer, or alteration of a product may void strict liability. It may also make it impossible to prove that injuries were caused by defects in the original product as purchased. The defense may be able to successfully claim that the injuries were caused by the acts of the plaintiff.

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Negligence & Product Liability

Not all cases of product liability qualify as strict liability. For this reason, questions of negligence and breach of warranty may also be grounds to claim damages under product liability. Regarding negligence, if it can be demonstrated that a company was negligent in the testing of its product or in providing directions for its safe use, the injured party likely has grounds for filing suit.

In much the same way, by selling a product, a manufacturer implies a "warranty for fitness of use" and freedom from defect. Should the item prove to be defective or unfit for its intended purpose, an injured user may file a product liability case. In the case of negligence, the plaintiff must be able to show that the product was defective when it left the control of the party he is suing.

Contact an Austin product liability lawyer today to see if you have grounds for a case!

Causes of Hazardous Product Injury

Various areas of defect are possible in product liability. It is required to demonstrate the product's defect as well as what renders the product unreasonably dangerous for its intended use.

Generally, a product may be considered unreasonably dangerous in three main ways:

  • Manufacturer's failure to warn about danger. This is an obvious expectation put on manufacturers and sellers. They must also provide consumers with clear and adequate instructions for use. Failure to observe this can easily turn an otherwise useful product deadly. For example, engine coolant is very useful in automobiles, but is also highly toxic. The failure to print warnings declaring this toxicity could lead to an accidental poisoning and thus product liability.
  • Design defect. In a design defect, the product in question must have been perfectly manufactured, but the design itself is hazardous. Recent, well-known examples of this are poorly placed gasoline tanks and defective tires.
  • Manufacturing defect. In this type of defect, the problem occurs during manufacture, turning an otherwise safe product dangerous. An automobile wheel installed with bolts either missing or cross-threaded is a common example.

Get the Help You Need From Komie & Morrow, LLP

Successful litigation of any product liability case requires that the product be preserved along with all paperwork showing its origins. Such documents may include receipts showing purchases, repairs, and other changes. These are vital to building a successful case.

Call Komie & Morrow today at (512) 640-2050 for a free consultation or simply fill out the free case evaluation form!

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