Houston product defect attorneys from The Callahan Law Firm are prepared to help you with your defective product case.
Many serious injuries to people and damage to property can result from unsafe products. Any product with faulty labeling, inadequate warnings, design defects, or defective manufacturing can lead to serious injuries or even death.
Our Houston product liability attorneys represent clients who have sustained serious injuries from defective products. We also assist the families of people who sustain fatal injuries due to dangerously defective products. When product designers, manufacturers, and sellers across many industries focus on profit and stock price at the expense of product safety, consumers are the ones who are put at risk of serious injury or death.
If you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, contact a Houston defective product attorney at The Callahan Law Firm today for a free initial case review. You can discuss your accident and injuries and learn more about your options for pursuing financial recovery and justice. Call us or contact us online now.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to a type of legal claim in which a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of a dangerous or defective product is held responsible for injuries to a consumer or user that are caused by that product. Product liability may be imposed on any party in the chain of distribution that puts the defective product into the hands of its first consumer. A person who resells a used product (such as a person selling an old lawnmower to another person) is usually not considered in the chain of distribution and usually cannot be held liable by the second user.
A product may be deemed defective if it suffers from a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a failure to warn/instruct (also known as a marketing defect).
- Design defect means that the inherent specifications of a product are unreasonably dangerous for the product’s intended purposes, and a safer alternative design could have been reasonably implemented.
- Manufacturing defect means that an error during the production or assembly process caused the product to not conform to the design specification.
- Failure to warn or instruct means that a seller failed to provide the consumer with adequate instructions as to a product’s safe use or adequate warnings about the use of a potentially dangerous product.
Product liability may be imposed under one of three theories of liability:
- Strict liability – Most product liability cases proceed under a theory of strict liability. In strict liability, an injured person does not need to show that a manufacturer or seller committed a willful, wanton, reckless, or negligent act in designing, manufacturing, or retailing the product; instead, the injured person only has to show that the product suffers from a defect or is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use and that there was a safer alternative design that was technologically feasible.
- Negligence – Injured users of a product can also claim that a manufacturer or seller of a product failed to exercise due care in designing, making, or selling the product, causing it to end up in the hands of a consumer with a dangerous defect.
- Breach of express or implied warranty – An injured person may claim that a product failed to comply with express or implied representations about the product’s use or safety made by a manufacturer or retailer, and that the breach of warranty led to injury.
A manufacturer or seller of a product may create a rebuttable presumption that its product is not defective or unreasonably dangerous when the product complies with mandatory federal regulations and safety standards.
Common Types of Product Liability Claims
At The Callahan Law Firm, our Houston defective product lawyers can help you with any kind of product liability claim, including those involving:
- Defective household products – Companies who manufacture and sell household products such as gas heaters, space heaters, clothing washers and dryers, dishwashers, transformers, fans, air conditioning equipment, and a variety of other electrical products have a responsibility to design and manufacture their products so that they are not defective or unreasonably dangerous. And when they fail to do this, people can suffer serious, life-altering injuries as well as destruction of property such as homes and buildings.
- Dangerous children’s products – Since children are not old enough to appreciate many risks of danger, children’s products must be designed and manufactured in such a way as to lower the risk that children can accidentally harm themselves through their use. Our firm can help your family recover compensation and justice if your child has been hurt by dangerous furniture such as Ikea dressers, toys, strollers, cribs, car seats, or children’s medications.
- Defective tools and equipment – Tools and equipment must be designed with adequate safety features and proper instructions and warnings as to their use. Manufacturers’ failure to do so can lead to users suffering severe injury. We can help you pursue a claim if you have been injured by power tools, lawnmowers, snowblowers, or other household equipment.
- Defective automobiles and defective recreational vehicles – In past years, victims have pursued litigation against manufacturers because of exploding gas tanks, SUV rollover accidents, all-terrain vehicle or ATV accidents, defective seat belt restraint systems, broken seatbacks, defective airbags, fuel-fed fires, and defective tires that fail including tire tread separation. With founding attorney Michael S. Callahan’s engineering background, a network of experts, and extensive trial experience, the defective product attorneys at The Callahan Law Firm will put together a top-notch team to investigate, develop and prosecute your auto defect claim or recreational vehicle defect claim.
- Defective medical devices – Medical device makers have a responsibility to ensure that the products they sell are safe for use in the human body. Tragically, the federal agency overseeing the release of such devices does little to no testing of them. That gives companies a perverse incentive to rush them to market and start making a profit. All too often, this results in needless harm and suffering to patients and their families. If you have a defective transvaginal mesh, gastric lap-band, artificial hip, laparoscopic power morcellator, defibrillator, duodenoscope, breast implant, IVC blood clot filter, or other medical device that has caused harm, you may be eligible for compensation.
- Dangerous medications – Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to thoroughly test new medications to identify all possible side effects. When drug-makers put medications on the market without adequate clinical testing, people can end up getting seriously hurt by drugs they thought were going to cure or treat conditions and improve their quality of life. Call us to discuss what we can do to help if you or a loved one have taken drugs such as Zoloft, Yaz/Yasmin, Accutane, Pradaxa, Zocor, Fosamax, Zithromax (Z-Pak), Topamax, or other dangerous medication and have been injured by the drug’s side-effects.
- Food poisoning – We thoroughly investigate our clients’ facts and circumstances to build solid cases for compensation for injuries and damages, including medical care, lost wages and pain and suffering. Our attorneys have the skill and resources to take on cases involving E. coli, botulism, salmonella, bacillary dysentery/shigella, campylobacter, hepatitis A, listeria, or viral gastroenteritis/norovirus.
- Dangerous chemicals – Companies may put dangerous or toxic chemicals on the market without fully understanding the potential harm they can cause to consumers or without providing adequate instructions and warnings as to their use. Examples of defective and dangerous chemical products include pesticides (Roundup), hair dyes, makeup, and household cleaning solutions.
How Our Houston Defective Product Attorneys Can Help With Your Case
Big corporations will do whatever it takes to avoid liability for injuring people through their dangerous and defective products. If you or a loved one have been hurt by a defective product, The Callahan Law Firm can help you and your family pursue the financial compensation you deserve by:
- Collecting and reviewing the evidence in your case, including the actual product that injured you, accident scene photos, eyewitness reports, and medical records.
- Collaborating with engineering experts and utilizing our attorney’s own engineering background to determine how your accident occurred and to build a strong, effective legal case to show who was at fault for your injuries and why.
- Identifying potentially liable parties to maximize the sources of compensation available to you for your injuries.
- Filing claims on your behalf and aggressively pursuing a settlement that provides you with a fair and full financial recovery.
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary, and utilizing our litigation experience to advocate for the best possible outcome for you.
What to Do If You’ve Been Harmed by a Dangerous or Defective Product
After you have been hurt by a dangerous or defective product, you can take these steps to help protect your legal rights and your ability to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages:
- Keep the product that injured you, if safe to do so. If possible, keep the product that injured you, along with any packaging, warning labels, receipts, and instruction materials. Our attorneys and experts can examine the product to determine what defects exist. Having the actual product itself or evidence that the medicine or food was ingested is critical in products liability cases.
- Document the accident scene. Take photos of where your accident occurred and the product in the place and condition it was in at the time of the incident. Also document other case important factors such as the lighting, weather conditions, clothes and footwear worn at the time of the incident, if relevant.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you do not think you were seriously injured, follow up with your physician or another medical provider to get examined. It can take days, weeks and sometimes longer before you begin to feel pain or other symptoms of injury that might be found in a physical exam. Promptly identifying your injuries will allow you to get better treatment and will strengthen your argument that your injuries were caused by the defective or dangerous product.
- Talk to a Houston defective product lawyer from The Callahan Law Firm. We can help you understand your legal options and start the process of pursuing your claim for compensation.
Demanding Full Compensation for Your Injuries
When you or a family member have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for past and future damages that result from your injuries, including:
- Costs of medical care
- Lost wages and income
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries
- Physical impairment
- Lost quality of life
- Compensation for your spouse for the loss of your companionship and intimacy due to your injuries
- Property damage
Statute of Limitations on Product Liability Lawsuits in Texas
Under Texas’s statute of limitations, for an accident that happens in the state of Texas you have two years from the date of injury to file a product liability lawsuit to recover compensation from the manufacturer or seller of a defective or dangerous product that injured you. This two-year period does not begin to run until you discover (or should discover through reasonable diligence) that you have been injured by a defective product.
However, there are other deadlines that can also affect your ability to bring a claim. Many states have a Statute of Repose, which cuts off a manufacturer’s liability for a defective product if the injury occurs more than 10 or 15 years after the product was first sold to its first consumer. In Texas, the Statute of Repose is 10 or 15 years depending on the type of product. However, there are many exceptions to the Statue of Repose and you should consult with an experienced attorney to know if your case could possibly be affected by the Statute of Repose.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations or the statute of repose passes, the court will most likely dismiss your case. Thus, it is critical to consult an experienced defective product attorney as soon as possible.
What to Expect in a Product Liability Lawsuit
The vast majority of product liability cases are resolved after a lawsuit is filed but before reaching trial. Some cases are even resolved before lawsuit, but that is the exception. Ultimately, most product liability claims end up in a negotiated settlement between the injured party and the responsible manufacturers and sellers of the defective product.
If you have a possible product liability claim, our firm will investigate your accident by gathering available evidence, speaking with witnesses, reconstructing the accident, and working with the necessary experts to determine how and why the incident happened. Those experts will furnish reports that show how the product that injured you was unlawfully defective or unreasonably dangerous.
Our firm will then make a claim on your behalf with the responsible manufacturers and retailers of the product that injured you. This will begin the process of working toward a resolution of your claim whether through a negotiated settlement or trial in a court of law to get you full and fair compensation.
Although most cases are ultimately settled, there are times when liable corporations refuse to accept that their product was defective or refuse to acknowledge the scope and seriousness of your injuries and damages. When that occurs, it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit. After the suit is filed, the parties engage in a process called discovery where evidence is exchanged, depositions are taken, and the parties try to narrow down the issues for trial. Even after a lawsuit is filed, the parties will attempt to negotiate to determine if a settlement can be reached. A case that is not resolved through a settlement will make its way to trial, where a jury (or occasionally a judge) will render a verdict.
Talk to a Houston Defective Product Lawyer Now
If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, do not wait another day to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Houston defective product lawyer from The Callahan Law Firm.
You can discuss your claim and learn more about your legal options, as well as how our firm can help you and your family recover maximum compensation for your injuries. You owe no fees for our representation – attorney’s fees or case expenses – unless you win.