What is Product Liability?

We all like to believe the products we use are 100% safe. But that isn’t always the case. Every year, across the United States, thousands of people suffer injury, even death, as a result of defective products. When something like this happens, a victim may be justified in filing a product liability claim. However, determining the type of defect and proper course of action can be confusing. Not only do the attorneys at the Salazar Law Firm practice personal injury law, we also specialize in product liability, an area with a different set of rules. A product liability claim may be applicable when you have received an injury due to a defective product. Generally, there are three main categories for defective products. Understanding these defects can help you in determining whether you have a product liability claim. Defects in Design When a product’s design is flawed it contains inherent defects, affecting the safety of the product long before it reaches the manufacturing stage. Design errors mean the entire run or line of a product compromises consumer safety. Because it is the designs that are defective, it is not the manufacturer who is held responsible for the error, but rather the company providing the design. Examples of design defects include:

  • A specific line of car with poor airbag deployment

Defects in Manufacturing Even if a product has been designed safely, dangerous defects may still arise when the consumer uses the product. These kinds of flaws come about in the manufacturing process. When the factory fails to fabricate the product correctly, contaminates the product or deviates from the design specifications in any other way, this can be cause serious defects. Some manufacturing defects are:

  • Medication that has been contaminated during production
  • A wheelchair with faulty brake pads

Defects in Warnings Though a product has been designed properly, and manufactured accurately, it can still result in serious injury. If the product has been distributed without sufficient instructions and warnings, a product liability claim may be applicable. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide warnings for clear dangers, as well as hidden ones. Likewise, it is the consumer’s responsibility to follow the directions and warnings. Examples of warning defects are:

  • An oven that does not contain a warning about safe duration of unattended use
  • A medication that does not make clear potential side effects

Determining the cause of the defect and responsible parties can be a difficult task in a product liability claim. The lawyers at the Salazar Law Firm have helped clients in Houston and the greater Texas area in procuring favorable results for their claims.