The Strict Liability Rule for Product Defects
The rule of “strict liability” provides important protections to individuals who are injured by defective products. Defective products cause thousands of injuries every year and those who are injured often need significant financial compensation to cover their medical bills, lost income, additional living expenses, and other losses. Strict liability allows these injury victims to recover this compensation without needing to prove that the product manufacturer was at fault in producing a dangerous product.
Personal Injury “Negligence” vs. Product Defect “Strict Liability”
In a typical auto accident or other personal injury case, in order to win compensation, you need to be able to establish that someone else was “negligent” in causing your injuries. The legal concept of negligence requires proof that someone owed you a legal duty and that they breached that duty, causing you harm. In the auto accident example, all drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care on the roads, and someone who crashes into you while speeding and texting behind the wheel could very well be found negligent – and financially responsible – for your crash-related injuries.
But, when you are injured by a defective product, proof of negligence isn’t required. In order to win compensation for a product defect, it is enough to show that:
• The product was defective
• The product has not been substantially altered from its manufactured state
• The defect caused your injuries
When these three requirements are met, injury victims can seek compensation not only from the manufacturer, but from any company (such as a wholesaler or retailer) involved in the chain of distribution. This is the rule of “strict liability.”
So, for example, if the driver who hit you was speeding because their gas pedal got stuck under the floor mat or there was a problem with their car’s accelerator, you may have a strict liability claim against the car’s manufacturer instead of a negligence claim against the driver.
Seeking Compensation Under Strict Liability
Of course, this does not mean that product defect claims are easy. Proving that a product is defective requires a thorough investigation, as well as obtaining expert opinions and getting access to records that are in the possession of the responsible party. In addition, since defects often affect thousands – and in some cases millions – of articles of the same product, companies will fight vigorously to avoid having a judge declare their products defective.
But, this does not stop injured consumers from collecting millions, if not billions, of dollars in financial compensation every year in cases involving:
To find out if you have a strict liability claim for a product defect, the best thing you can do is to see your doctor and then contact our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.
Morrow & Sheppard LLP | Houston Injury Lawyers for Product Defects
Attorneys Nick Morrow and John D. Sheppard provide experienced and aggressive representation for victims of defective products throughout Texas. If you have been seriously injured by a dangerous product, even if it belonged to someone else, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. To find out more, call Morrow & Sheppard LLP at (800) 489-2216 or schedule a free consultation online today.