Frequently Asked Questions about Product Liability Claims

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Children's Product Liability, Defective Children's Product, Defective Drugs, Defective Product, Defective Toys, Product Liability

Product liability claims arise when a consumer is harmed by a defective or dangerous product. Such claims can be complex, involving various legal principles and multiple parties. Product liability claims are a vital mechanism for protecting consumers and holding manufacturers accountable for defective products. Understanding the basics of these claims can help injured parties navigate the legal process and seek appropriate compensation for their injuries.

In this article, the product liability attorneys at Kherkher Garcia address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding product liability claims. Our hope is that this information provides clarity for consumers who may find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

What is Product Liability?

Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers for injuries caused by defective products they have sold. The liability can be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty.

  • Negligence: This involves proving that the manufacturer or seller failed to exercise reasonable care in the design, production, or warning of potential hazards associated with the product.
  • Strict Liability: Under strict liability, the injured party does not need to prove negligence; it is sufficient to show that the product was defective and caused harm.
  • Breach of Warranty: This pertains to a failure to fulfill the terms of a promise or claim made about the quality or type of product.

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Product Liability Claim?

Multiple parties can be held liable in a product liability claim, including:

  • Manufacturers: The primary entity responsible for the creation of the product.
  • Distributors: Companies that play a role in distributing the product from the manufacturer to the retailer.
  • Retailers: Stores or businesses that sell the product to consumers.
  • Suppliers of Component Parts: If a defect originates from a specific part, the supplier of that part may also be held accountable.

What Types of Defects Can Lead to a Product Liability Claim?

There are three main types of defects that can lead to a product liability claim:

  • Design Defects: These occur when a product is inherently dangerous due to its design, even if manufactured correctly.
  • Manufacturing Defects: These happen during the production process and result in a product that deviates from the intended design, making it unsafe.
  • Marketing Defects: Also known as failure to warn, these involve insufficient instructions, warnings, or labeling about the product’s potential risks.

How Do You Prove a Product Liability Claim?

To successfully prove a product liability claim, the plaintiff generally must establish the following:

  • The Product Was Defective: Demonstrating that the product had a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect.
  • The Defect Existed at the Time of Sale: Showing that the defect was present when the product left the manufacturer’s or seller’s control.
  • The Defect Caused the Injury: Establishing a direct link between the defect and the injury sustained.
  • The Plaintiff Used the Product as Intended: Proving that the product was being used in a manner consistent with its intended purpose when the injury occurred.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Product Liability Claim?

In a product liability claim, plaintiffs may recover various types of damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for medical treatment, rehabilitation, and future medical care related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work as a result of the injury.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury.
  • Property Damage: Costs to repair or replace property damaged by the defective product.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior.

Are There Time Limits for Filing a Product Liability Claim?

Yes, product liability claims are subject to statutes of limitations, which vary by state. These laws set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. Typically, the clock starts ticking from the date the injury occurred or when the injured party became aware (or should have become aware) of the injury. It’s crucial to consult with a lawyer to understand the specific time limits applicable in your jurisdiction.

What Should You Do If You Are Injured by a Defective Product?

If you are injured by a defective product, take the following steps:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Ensure your health and safety first.
  • Preserve the Product: Keep the product and any related packaging, manuals, and receipts.
  • Document the Incident: Take photos of the product, your injuries, and the scene of the incident. Write down details of what happened.
  • Report the Incident: Notify the manufacturer or retailer about the defect and your injury.
  • Consult an Attorney: Contact a lawyer specializing in product liability to discuss your case and legal options.

How Do Product Recalls Affect Product Liability Claims?

A product recall can impact a product liability claim in several ways:

  • Evidence of Defect: A recall can serve as evidence that the product was defective.
  • Notice of Defect: It indicates that the manufacturer was aware of the defect.
  • Impact on Settlement: The existence of a recall may lead to quicker settlements, as the manufacturer may prefer to avoid lengthy litigation.

However, the recall itself does not automatically prove liability. Plaintiffs still need to demonstrate that the defect caused their injury.

Can You Sue for a Used or Second-Hand Product?

Suing for a defective used or second-hand product can be more challenging but is not impossible. Liability may depend on factors such as:

  • Seller’s Knowledge: Whether the seller knew or should have known about the defect.
  • Alterations or Modifications: If the product was altered or modified after its original sale, it might complicate liability claims.
  • Consumer Protection Laws: Some states have specific consumer protection laws that may apply to used goods.

What Role Do Expert Witnesses Play in Product Liability Claims?

Expert witnesses play a crucial role in product liability claims by providing specialized knowledge and testimony to help establish key elements of the case. They may:

  • Analyze Defects: Assess whether the product design, manufacturing, or marketing was defective.
  • Establish Causation: Explain how the defect caused the injury.
  • Evaluate Safety Standards: Determine if the product met relevant safety standards and regulations.

Their testimony can be pivotal in persuading the court or jury of the validity of the plaintiff’s claims.

How Kherkher Garcia Can Help Clients with Product Liability Claims

At Kherkher Garcia, we specialize in personal injury cases, including product liability claims. Our firm offers comprehensive legal support to clients harmed by defective products. With a team of experienced attorneys, Kherkher Garcia provides expert guidance and representation through every step of the legal process. Here’s how we assist clients with product liability claims:

Free Initial Consultation

Our firm offers a free initial consultation to evaluate the merits of your product liability claim. During this consultation, attorneys will:

  • Assess Your Case: Review the details of your injury and the defective product involved.
  • Explain Your Rights: Inform you of your legal rights and potential avenues for compensation.
  • Determine Liability: Identify potential liable parties, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

Comprehensive Case Investigation

A thorough investigation is crucial for building a strong product liability case. Our attorneys conduct an in-depth examination of all relevant aspects, including:

  • Product Analysis: Collaborate with experts to analyze the defective product and determine the nature of the defect.
  • Evidence Collection: Gather critical evidence such as purchase receipts, product manuals, packaging, and photographs of the defective product and injuries.
  • Incident Reconstruction: Work with specialists to reconstruct the events leading to the injury to establish causation.

Expert Testimony

Kherkher Garcia has access to a network of expert witnesses who can provide specialized knowledge and testimony to support your claim. Utilizing experts helps prove your claim by:

  • Identifying Defects: Experts determine whether the product has design, manufacturing, or marketing defects.
  • Establishing Causation: Explaining how the defect caused the injury.
  • Evaluating Safety Standards: Assessing whether the product met industry safety standards and regulations.

Legal Strategy and Representation

At Kherkher Garcia, our attorneys develop a tailored legal strategy to maximize your chances of a successful outcome. This includes:

  • Filing the Claim: Prepare and file all necessary legal documents within the statute of limitations.
  • Negotiation: Engage in negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company or legal team to seek a fair settlement.
  • Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached, Kherkher Garcia is prepared to take your case to court and provide vigorous representation during trial.

Pursuing Maximum Compensation

Kherkher Garcia is committed to securing maximum compensation for our clients. Our team will pursue compensation for damages including:

  • Medical Expenses: Covering past and future medical costs related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensating for income lost due to the inability to work.
  • Pain and Suffering: Seeking compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursing for any property damaged by the defective product.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence, pursuing punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior.

Client Support and Communication

Throughout the legal process, the attorneys at Kherkher Garcia ensure that clients receive continuous support and communication:

  • Regular Updates: Keeping clients informed of case developments and progress.
  • Answering Questions: Providing clear and concise answers to any questions or concerns clients may have.
  • Emotional Support: Offering empathy and understanding during what can be a stressful and challenging time.

No Win, No Fee Guarantee

Kherkher Garcia operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning clients do not pay legal fees unless they win their case. This ensures:

  • Accessibility: Legal representation is accessible to those who might not afford upfront legal fees.
  • Incentive for Success: The firm is motivated to secure the best possible outcome for clients.

By providing comprehensive legal services and pursuing maximum compensation, Kherkher Garcia ensures that clients harmed by defective products receive the justice and financial recovery they deserve.

Get Your Free Consultation with a Product Liability Attorney

If you have been injured by a defective product, reaching out to Kherkher Garcia can provide you with the expertise and advocacy needed to navigate the complexities of a product liability claim successfully. To start your free consultation with our attorneys, call 713-333-1030, or submit our online contact form.


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Steve Kherkher

Steve Kherkher

Founding Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Founding Firm Partner Steve Kherkher. Steve has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 30 years. He has won $300 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. He is a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been catastrophically injured.

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