Houston Product Liability Lawyer
Defective products can harm consumers in innumerable ways, whether a defective seatbelt failed to protect you in an accident, a bottle warmer resulted in a severe burn, or a defective guardrail lead to an unnecessary fall. Whenever a manufacturer creates a product and distributes it to consumers, they should make sure it’s safe. Unfortunately, some companies will sell a product they know can cause harm. They put profit over safety. When that happens, they should be held liable for their negligent actions.
If you were injured because of a defective or dangerous product, the Houston product liability lawyers from Gibson Hill Personal Injury can help you assert your legal rights and secure the compensation you need to cover your expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attentive and knowledgeable attorneys will guide you through every step of the legal process and ensure that you have the strongest possible legal claim.
When you hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, you can rest assured that you’ll have the best legal representation handling your case, so that you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life. Call us at (713) 659-4000 to schedule your free consultation – learn about your legal options today.
Common Product Liability Claims
There are state and federal laws to protect us from products that can cause physical and emotional harm. Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, you can hold manufacturers responsible for the injuries you suffer while using their products.
The categories that fall under the practice area of product liability include:
- Vehicle accessories, such as car seats, airbags, seat belts, and tires
- Cleaning products
- Food products
- Children’s items, including furniture and clothing
- Pesticides, asbestos, mold, and other toxic chemicals
- Lawn care products
- Medical devices
- Household appliances
- Cars, trucks, and motorcycles
- Safety equipment
- Tools and machinery
- Smartphones and other types of electronics
- Tobacco products
- Toys and recreational equipment
Our attorneys have experience with a wide range of product liability cases. We’ll be able to ascertain your legal rights and options specific to your injury, circumstances, and type of product liability claim.
Who You Can Hold Responsible for Product Liability Injuries
If you got injured from any consumer product, you could hold the appropriate parties financially responsible. Product liability laws allow victims to recover compensation from the negligent party that caused their injuries, depending on the type of defect the product had. There are three types of defects, including.
- Design defect: When the design of a product isn’t safe, resulting in a dangerous product line. Design defects also include the packaging, such as a childproof medicine bottle that isn’t actually childproof.
- Manufacturing defect: A well-designed product that is unsafe because of how it’s made.
- Insufficient warnings or instructions: Products are manufactured and designed safely but don’t include adequate warnings or instructions for consumers to use them.
Negligence is the most common reason cited in a product liability claim. Negligence is when a party fails to behave with reasonable care to prevent injury to another. If you want to base your case on negligence, you have to prove the following circumstances existed:
- The manufacturer owed you a duty of care;
- They breached that duty;
- Their action or inaction caused your injury; and
- You suffered damages as a result.
You can also base your product liability case on tortious misrepresentation. That is, false or misleading information the manufacturer conveys to its consumer. It comes in three different forms:
- Fraudulent misrepresentation occurs when a manufacturer knows that their statement is false and intentionally misleads the consumer.
- Negligent misrepresentation is when the manufacturer doesn’t find out whether or not their statement was true.
- Strict liability exists when a product was unreasonably dangerous or unsafe when sold, and when the seller expected the product would reach the consumer unchanged, and when the consumer suffered injury.
Defective products can cause disasters in your household.
What Type of Financial Compensation Can I Pursue for My Injuries?
The circumstances surrounding how you got injured will affect the amount of money you can win in a product liability insurance claim or lawsuit. Each case is unique and comes with its own set of challenges. Some people recover quickly and completely, while others require life-long medical treatment. Some can return to work after one month, while others need to rely on disability insurance for the permanent injury that prevents them from doing their job.
Depending on the amount of insurance coverage available and your total damages, you might be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Emotional pain and trauma
- Lost wages
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Property damage caused by the product
- Disability or disfigurement
- Punitive damages
When an insurance company or jury is reviewing all the information pertaining to your case and looking through the evidence presented, they will decide the value of your case. Typically, multiple factors go into the decision about how much compensation a victim of product liability deserves.
Specific factors that could result in a higher financial award include:
- Broken bone injury
- Expenses for medical care
- Permanent injury, such as loss of mobility or a scar
- Medical treatment by a clinic, doctor, or hospital
- Long-term treatment needed
- Long recovery
- Prescribed medication to treat the injury
- Daily life disruptions, such as missed school days, vacation, or special event
The factors that could lead to smaller compensation include:
- Soft tissue injury, such as a bruise or sprain
- Majority of your medical costs are from diagnosis of the injury instead of treatment
- Medical care from non-MD providers
- No prescription medications needed
- Small duration of treatment
- Short recovery time
- No permanent injury exists
- No emotional or physical suffering as a result of the injury
The biggest mistake victims of product liability make is waiting to start the process of an insurance claim or lawsuit. Delaying medical care, not filing a claim, or failing to speak to a Houston product liability lawyer can result in a denied claim or low settlement offer.
If a product injures you, you need to take action right away and complete the following steps:
- File an insurance claim with the manufacturer’s liability carrier
- Hire an experienced lawyer who specializes in product liability
- Seek treatment with a medical professional
- Keep the actual product that caused you harm to use as evidence
- Gather medical records, billing statements, prescriptions, and record of out of pocket expenses related to your injury
- Continue treating with your doctors until they release you from care
Never sign any documents from the insurance company without speaking to a lawyer first. The adjuster assigned to your claim will most likely try to get you to settle quickly for an amount of money less than you deserve. If they send you a form to sign, you could lose your rights to the maximum compensation available.
A Houston product liability lawyer from Gibson Hill Personal Injury will be able to walk you through every piece of paper sent to you and let you know if it’s something you should fill out and submit to the insurance company. We understand what your rights are and how the process works. There’s usually no legal basis for requiring certain paperwork from the injured individual.
What Gibson Hill Personal Injury Can Do for You
You might not think you need to hire a lawyer, or you don’t think you can afford one. Gibson Hill Personal Injury takes product liability cases on a contingency basis. That means we don’t require upfront fees or costs. We won’t collect our legal fees unless we’re able to secure a settlement or favorable jury verdict.
The benefits of hiring a Houston product liability lawyer far outweigh any negatives you believe might exist. Working on an insurance claim or lawsuit requires experience, knowledge, and resources that most people don’t possess. The fact of the matter is you’ll probably receive a higher compensation with legal representation than if you decide to pursue a case alone.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we understand the complex nature of product liability cases and how to put together a solid collection of information, documentation, and evidence that proves your claim. Our team knows how to show that a client’s injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence. We will always be on your side. You can depend on us to assert your legal rights.
Here are some additional reasons why having Gibson Hill Personal Injury assist with your product liability claim is a good idea:
- We do all the work. Hiring an attorney for your product liability claim means that you can concentrate on what’s important to you, like recovering from your injuries or spending time with your family. We will take all the phone calls from insurance companies, and we will handle writing the letters demanding compensation. We will gather the evidence and the documents and speak to witnesses to build a comprehensive injury claim for you that is based on fact and backed up by evidence. We will do all this, so you don’t have to.
- Reputation matters. When you pursue a product liability claim on your own, you’re already at a disadvantage. An insurance company will respond to a demand letter from an individual far differently than they would to a demand letter from a reputable injury attorney. We don’t just help you build a claim and protect your rights. We attach our professional reputation to your claim and force the insurance company to rethink how they should react to your request for compensation.
- Their underhanded tactics. Insurance companies make money by protecting their bottom line. They collect premiums from their customers and do everything in their power to keep from paying compensation to claimants. They will use underhanded tactics to try to convince you that your injuries are not severe and do not warrant the amount you request. They will say they are looking out for your best interests. They may say you don’t need an attorney or ask why you’d want to split a settlement check with a lawyer. They will act like your friend when the truth is, they are anything but. When you have an attorney assist you, we will be the first point of contact for the insurance company. We are immune to these dishonest practices and know the best ways to counter them.
- Objectivity. A product liability injury can be a painful ordeal, physically as well as emotionally. You may be angry, anxious, or frustrated by the whole process, and this can affect your judgment or make it difficult to even take a phone call from an insurance adjuster. When you hire an attorney, we take the emotion out of the equation and deal with the facts. We’ve done all this before, and you can lean on us for support when you need it the most.
- We know how to estimate damages. When you’re injured by a defective product, you lose more than your physical health. You also lose peace of mind. Obtaining compensation for your pain and suffering or emotional distress can help assuage the pain of these kinds of losses, and an experienced attorney can fall back on their knowledge of Texas law to help determine the amount of compensation that heals all your injuries, not just the ones you can see.
- We stick with you to the end. If you’ve filed an injury claim against a product manufacturer and their insurance company denies it outright or offers you a minuscule settlement amount, there’s not much more you can do on your own. You’re certainly allowed to file a lawsuit on your own, but without the skills and knowledge of an attorney to assist, you have a very limited chance of success. Hiring a lawyer brings the threat of a lawsuit to bear on an insurance company, and this changes their calculations. They must now decide if it’s cheaper to offer you a fair settlement that compensates you for your injuries or spend the time and resources to defend themselves in front of a judge or jury in court. Going to court is expensive, and even if their defense is successful, it may end up costing more than a settlement would have.
- The numbers are better with a lawyer. Even when accounting for the added cost of hiring a lawyer, there is hard data saying that having an attorney by your side can mean the difference between a fair settlement and nothing at all. A company called Martindale-Nolo Research sponsored a survey in 2017 of hundreds of injury claimants to analyze the outcome of their cases and compensation amounts. The results were surprisingly stark. Those who hired an attorney to assist with their injury claim had a 40% better chance of obtaining a settlement or award than those who did not. Also, those who had a lawyer saw a marked increase in the amount of compensation obtained. How much of an increase? A more than four-fold increase. It’s helpful to have a lawyer in more ways than one.
If you were hurt by a defective product, we can help.
Product Liability Claims Process
The process of obtaining compensation for your product liability injury usually looks something like this:
- Injury/treatment. You can’t get compensation for an injury without being injured, and the process starts with getting medical attention for your injury. Save the defective product that caused your injury. It will be invaluable as evidence in your case.
- Hiring legal counsel. If you believe your injury was caused by another party’s negligence, like the product’s manufacturer, it’s time to find a lawyer. We will review your case and ascertain whether you have a claim that is worth pursuing.
- We build your claim. We will investigate, gather evidence, and get to know the facts so we can file a claim for compensation.
- We submit a demand letter. After you’ve fully recovered from your injuries and the full medical costs are tallied, we file a demand letter with the responsible party’s insurance company.
- We negotiate. Settlement negotiations usually begin at this point to keep the case from going to trial. If we don’t reach an agreement, we move on.
- File a lawsuit. If we can’t get the settlement amount you need, we file suit against the responsible party. Trial can take anywhere from a few days to a few years, but your lawyer will assist with every step.
Statute of Limitations for Houston Product Liability Cases
Every state has a statute of limitations for different types of cases. A statute of limitations is the time limit an injured party has to bring a civil action against another party. In Texas, the statute of limitations for product liability is two years.
Laws consider a product liability action as any action brought against a manufacturer or seller of a product to recover damages resulting from death, personal injury, or property damage. Whether you base your case on negligence, misrepresentation, or strict liability, you can sue the manufacturer to compensate you for your total damages if their defective product caused you physical or emotional harm.
If you were the victim of product liability and want to find out how Gibson Hill Personal Injury can help you, contact us for a free consultation. Our team of Houston product liability lawyers dedicates their time and attention to each client who hires us. We know the stress you’re under, and it’s our goal to resolve your case efficiently.
You should always speak with a lawyer before making any decisions about your difficult situation. We can provide you with helpful advice and guide you down the right path. If you’re interested in pursuing financial compensation, we’ll handle your case for you so you can focus on your recovery.
Call (713) 929-2620 today to meet with one of our Houston personal injury lawyers, and we’ll discuss your case and the options available.