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Each year, millions of Americans’ cars are recalled due to defects. Often these defects cause accidents and injuries. Victims can claim financial recovery for their losses by means of motor vehicle product liability laws, which also extend to SUVs, motorcycles, trucks and other vehicles.

Jim Adler & Associates has many experienced product liability lawyers who can fight for victims’ rights to payments for their losses due to a defective product such as a motor vehicle.

What is Product Liability?

As for what is product liability, this concerns the legal liability of a manufacturer which produces a faulty or defective product. If an automaker manufactures a vehicle with bad tires, air bags or other elements, and these cause a crash, the automaker is responsible in a legal sense and can be sued for damages.

All those involved in selling the vehicle also can be held responsible, as can be those who manufactured the component parts involved in the defect and those who installed or assembled the defective products.

Product liability law differs from standard injury law, and that may make it less difficult for injured victims to claim payments for damages. Product liability law mandates that products meet consumers’ ordinary expectations. When the product has an unexpected risk or defect, it fails to meet this standard, and the designers, manufacturers, sellers and marketers may be legally liable for damages it causes.

How Do Product Liability Lawsuits Work?

As for how product liability lawsuits work, generally a plaintiff must be able to prove that a product was defective, and that this defect caused the product to be unreasonably dangerous.

Such defects can involve:

  • Manufacturing defects, which arose while a product was being assembled or manufactured
  • Design defects, which existed from the start, prior to manufacture, and resulted in an unsafe product
  • Marketing defects, which misled consumers due to insufficient warnings of safety hazards or inaccurate labeling or instructions.

Plaintiffs have the burden of proof to establish that such defects existed, whether the manufacturer was negligent or not. This is known as strict liability, where plaintiffs only need to prove that the product itself was defective.

Strict liability means it’s not necessary to prove that a manufacturer was negligent, but simply to prove the fact that the manufacturer was responsible for a defect which caused an injury.

Texas Product Liability Law

Product liability laws are state laws, with no universal federal law. When claims or lawsuits are pressed, they can involve strict liability, breach of warranty or negligence.

To meet the standards of Texas product liability law, claimants in product liability lawsuits must prove two crucial elements (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Title 4, Chapter 82):

  • The product involved in an accident was defective
  • The product itself caused or contributed to damages of the accident

In Texas, claimants also must base their claim on whether damages occurred due to a manufacturing defect, a design defect or a marketing defect.

For a claim based on a manufacturing defect, Texas claimants must prove that the product deviated from its planned specifications. For a claim based on a design defect, Texas claimants must prove that a safer alternative design existed. For a claim based on a marketing defect, Texas claimants must prove that the product lacked a sufficient warning.

Proving such things may involve gaining the testimony of established experts in these areas.

Types of Product Liability Lawsuits

Among types of motor vehicle product liability lawsuits are:

  • Lawsuits due to defective air bags, such as exploding Takata air bags which hurl shrapnel through a vehicle
  • Lawsuits due to SUV rollovers, which can occur in many vehicles due to design defects
  • Lawsuits due to tires which have blowouts due to manufacturing or other defects
  • Lawsuits due to motorcycles wobbling at high speeds due to design or manufacturing defects
  • Lawsuits due to carbon monoxide poisoning attributed to defective keyless ignition devices
  • Lawsuits due to inadequate roof supports leading to roof-crush damages when a car rolls over onto its roof and the vehicle’s weight crushes the roof, collapsing it
  • Lawsuits due to seatbelt defects which lead to occupants of a vehicle being injured in a crash
  • Lawsuits due to defective door latches which allow a door to open in a crash and allow occupants to be ejected from the vehicle

What If It Wasn’t My Vehicle?

If you were injured by a defective vehicle which you did not own, you still may be able to claim damages based on product liability laws.

That is, if another driver’s vehicle caused a crash which injured you because that vehicle was defective, or if you were riding in someone else’s vehicle whose defect injured you, you still can make a claim for damages based on product liability laws.

Sometimes claims can be a combination of product liability claims and negligent driving claims, when a combination of a bad driver and a defective vehicle caused you injury.

Class-Action Product Liability Lawsuits

Often, it’s individuals who file claims for damages due to product liability. But in the case of massive numbers of vehicles with the same defect, class-action product liability lawsuits may be filed instead.

That means victims band together to file a single lawsuit representing them all. In some cases, other victims may be able to join a class-action lawsuit which already is in progress. Such lawsuits may be less expensive for groups to file than individuals, especially for small claims.

However, if the nature or extent of a victim’s injuries is significantly worse or different from members of a class-action lawsuit, that victim may be better served by an individual liability lawsuit instead. An individual lawsuit may be able to gain greater financial recovery for such a victim.

Get a Product Liability Lawyer

Innocent victims in Texas can get a product liability lawyer to handle their case from Jim Adler & Associates. The Texas law firm has helped thousands of Texans across the state with their injury legal needs for more than 40 years.

Contact us today for a free legal review of your case — at no obligation to you. Then you can decide if you want to proceed with a product liability lawsuit claiming payments for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Notify Jim Adler, “The Texas Hammer,” today, and seek the payments — and justice — you are legally due by means of a motor vehicle product liability lawsuit.

If you’ve been seriously injured, get The Tough, Smart Lawyer! ®
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