Manufactured products are expected to be safe for consumers to use when they buy them. A product’s makers are obligated to let consumers know about any unsafe aspects of their product. Serious accidents can occur when a product is defective in any way, even if the consumer uses the product appropriately.
Defective products can cause a wide range of serious injuries. When an injury occurs, either due to a product defect or to a lack of appropriate warnings or instructions, the product’s manufacturer could be held liable for the damages it caused.
This area of law is known as product liability. These types of cases can be extremely complicated because, to win compensation for your losses, you must be able to prove that the product’s defect caused your injuries. The defect is not always obvious or easy to identify, nor is it always easy to link the defect to your damages.
If you suffered severe injuries or if your loved one was killed by a defective product, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The product liability attorneys at Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. can help you. We have over 100 years of combined legal experience in product liability cases. We can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.
How Can a Product Be Defective and Who Is Responsible?
Many different types of products are involved in product liability cases in San Antonio, but in general, there are three common kinds of product defects that may lead to a product liability claim:
- Design Defect — A product may not work as intended, and the cause is an inherent flaw in the product design. This design defect makes a product unsafe or dangerous, no matter how flawlessly it is manufactured. Every product produced with this design will have a dangerous flaw.
- Manufacturing Defect — A defect may be introduced during the manufacturing process. These types of defects can be caused by employee error, shoddy materials, or errors in construction or assembly of the product. Only certain units made during the production run may have the defect. The product is not defective by design.
- Failure to Warn — Information relating to the proper use of a product is essential. When manufacturers do not provide users with appropriate warnings, especially with potentially hazardous materials or products, they may be liable for damages that result.
Manufacturing defects might apply only to a particular product or batch of products, for example, a batch of contaminated ice cream. Design defects and failure to warn may be more widespread. Design defects and failure to warn involve all products having the same danger and threaten the welfare of far more people, for example, car airbags that fail to inflate upon impact or SUVs that are prone to rollover.
A product is considered defective when it poses an unreasonable risk of harm due to a defect. In these cases, victims must demonstrate that the defect caused their injuries. To successfully bring a product liability case against a manufacturer, distributor, or another liable party, you will need to prove that you were using the product as intended and without modifications.
Types of Cases Our San Antonio Product Liability Attorneys Handle
In the last several years, the top defective product cases heard by juries involved products that caused cancer, severe illness or injury, drug addictions, and other adverse health effects. These products include:
- Talcum powder
- Roundup and other glyphosate herbicides
- Defective pharmaceuticals
- Testosterone replacement therapies
- Opioid painkillers
- Defective medical devices and equipment
- Factories that polluted the local water sources
A manufacturer is likely to deny liability and claim that a victim’s negligence caused their injuries, when in reality the injuries were a result of a product defect. You need a lawyer who can prove that the product was used correctly, but a product defect caused your injuries.
Other examples of common product liability claims include:
- Tainted food
- Genetically modified seeds
- Car seats
- Bedding and clothing
- Agricultural equipment
- Manufacturing equipment
- Heavy machinery
- Construction tools or equipment
- Motor vehicle parts
- Medical devices
Our product liability attorneys at Herrman & Herrman handle all these cases and more.
Do I Have the Right to Seek Compensation If I Was Hurt by a Defective Product?
Yes. In a product liability claim, you may be entitled to compensation for two types of damages.
These are damages that relate to your specific financial losses. We can calculate these damages by reviewing medical bills, property damage repairs, and proof of missed work, and lost wages, for example. Economic damages could also include costs for future medical needs, the cost of recovery and ongoing care, costs for renovations to your home to accommodate any disabilities caused by your injuries, and the amount of income you may lose in the future if you cannot return to work.
These are meant to compensate you for damages that are more subjective and not easily calculated by reference to bills or other financial documents. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional anguish and distress caused by your injuries
- Loss of quality of life, including the inability to perform gainful work or tasks of daily living or to participate in activities you enjoyed before your accident
- Loss of consortium, which is the loss of your companionship or services to the family
What is the Process for Filing a Claim?
If you have been injured because of a defective product, make sure you try to preserve whatever remains of the product, including original packaging and receipts, and store it in a safe place. Take pictures of everything involved in your accident, injury, or illness. This documentation may be very valuable if you decide to file a claim against the manufacturer.
Some cases can be settled without taking a product liability lawsuit to trial. An experienced San Antonio product liability attorney can identify the liable party and file a claim against it. If the liable party agrees to a fair settlement, and you could get the compensation you need without going to court.
However, cases involving defective products often require filing a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the product. A court case can be more complicated. In a court case, we must convince the jurors that:
- You were using the product as intended.
- The product had a defect.
- This defect caused your injuries.
- You suffered losses due to your injuries.
In certain cases, the injured party may also need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in putting the product on the market.
Before you file a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer, your attorney will typically submit a demand letter requesting a specific amount in payment. Most manufacturers will reject these initial attempts, and settlement negotiations will usually begin after that.
Jury trials can be extremely expensive, and defendants may find that settlements are less costly than going to trial. However, in many cases, a settlement will not be reached until the case is about to go to trial.
If we work with you, we will build the strongest possible case to present to the jury. Our experienced investigative team will document the defect and how it caused your injuries. We can gather the evidence that supports your claim to compensation for all your related losses.
Contact Our San Antonio Product Liability Lawyers Now
Our San Antonio product liability law firm has in-depth knowledge of the complex regulations and laws governing product liability cases. This knowledge and experience give us a valuable edge when we help our clients. We will vigorously pursue compensation from the at-fault party to make sure you and your family get the money you deserve for your losses.
For nearly two decades, Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., has served personal injury victims in Texas. During that time, we have also sought to give back to the community we live and work in.
Our firm is involved in a number of causes in the San Antonio area and Texas, including supporting first responders and offering student scholarships. Our clients attest to our high standards, our customer services, and our success, as evidenced by our high marks on Google and Facebook reviews.
Call our English and Spanish-speaking staff today for a free case evaluation. We will discuss your rights and options with you. We will not ask for any payment unless and until we win your case.
Our San Antonio office is located at 8122 Datapoint Dr Suite 816, San Antonio, TX 78229.