With the complexity of products that are available to consumers, product liability is an important area of law. Product liability encompasses laws that protect consumers from any harm caused by defective products.
When it comes to product liability claims, it’s critical for individuals to understand their rights and when they must act in order to pursue compensation. If you are considering filing a product liability claim in Texas or Louisiana, our attorneys at Cotten Schmidt can help. Our product liability attorneys in New Orleans, Louisiana, represent injured consumers in New Orleans and throughout the surrounding areas, as well as some areas in Texas.
Understanding Product Liability
Product liability is a legal term used to describe a manufacturer or seller’s responsibility for any harm caused by their defective products. A consumer who has been injured due to the fault of another can bring a civil lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. The individual or company found responsible will be liable for damages related to the injury, including but not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Injuries resulting from consumer products are not an uncommon occurrence in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, 11.7 million people went to emergency departments to treat injuries caused by consumer products in 2021.
When bringing forward a claim for product liability, the vast majority of states – including Texas – recognize three main categories which can be applied:
Design defects. Design defects occur when a product is designed in such a way that its use results in injury regardless of how it was manufactured or sold.
Manufacturing defects. Manufacturing defects occur when there’s an issue with the way a product was assembled or produced which results in an injury after it has been purchased and used as intended by the consumer.
Failure to warn. Failure to warn claims refer to when manufacturers fail to include appropriate warnings on their products regarding potential hazards associated with their use, which results in injury after purchase and use as intended by the consumer.
Unlike other states, Louisiana law also recognizes a fourth type of product liability claim. Consumers injured by defective products in Louisiana can hold the manufacturer liable if the product did not conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty.
Injured by a Product?
Elements Required for a Product Liability Claim
In order for an individual to bring forward a successful claim for product liability, certain elements must be present under the law. In both Texas and Louisiana, these elements include:
Demonstrating that the defendant owed you (the plaintiff) a duty of reasonable care;
They breached that duty through negligence;
You were harmed as a direct result; and
Finally, you suffered quantifiable damages.
If you believe you have grounds for filing such a claim due to being injured by a defective product, you might want to contact an experienced products liability attorney to properly assess your situation and determine your best course of action.
Filing a Claim
The time limit for filing a product liability claim – also known as the statute of limitations – varies from one state to another. The statute of limitations is not the same in Texas and Louisiana. In Louisiana, you only have one year to bring a product liability claim. Texas law, meanwhile, allows injured consumers to sue parties responsible for their injuries within two years after the date the cause of action accrues.
It’s important to note that there are exceptions to this rule depending on the specific circumstances of each case. An attorney can help you determine whether your case may be affected by any exceptions.
If you’re successful in filing a product liability claim, you may be able to recover various types of damages such as medical expenses, lost wages due to missed time at work (if applicable), pain and suffering, emotional distress, property damage, and more. An experienced attorney can help you maximize your recovery by calculating all of your current and future losses related to your injury or death so that they are included as part of your award.
How Can a Products Liability Attorney Help?
An experienced products liability attorney can help you navigate the legal process associated with filing a product liability claim. They can also:
Review evidence related to your case so that all relevant facts are included in court documents
Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf
Negotiate for higher settlements
Provide expert advice about how best to proceed with your case
Represent you during litigation proceedings and more
If you have been injured by an unsafe or defective product, contact an attorney who has experience successfully litigating cases like yours so that you get the best possible results from your claim.
Products Liability Attorneys Serving Texas and Louisiana
Filing a product liability claim can seem complicated, but working with an experienced attorney can make all the difference when seeking justice against negligent parties responsible for causing injury or death due to unsafe or defective products. If you are considering filing a product liability claim in Texas or Louisiana, our attorneys at Cotten Schmidt can assist you. Reach out today to schedule a case review with our attorneys.
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