Dallas Defectively Designed Products Lawyer
When you use an item you have purchased, you expect it to be safe to use for its intended purpose. Unfortunately, sometimes products can malfunction and cause serious injury. One of the ways a product could not operate correctly is if it has been defectively designed. If you have been seriously injured by a defectively designed product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Design defects can affect a range of products that consumers use. When a serious injury from a defectively designed product has caused you injury, The Benton Law Firm can conduct an evaluation of the specific facts of your case to determine if a product liability claim is an option. Do not hesitate to contact us right away at (214) 777-7777.
Do I Need a Defectively Designed Products Attorney?
A defectively designed product case is a form of products liability case that seeks to hold the manufacturer accountable for unreasonably dangerous products. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the complex legal process that is involved in litigating a products liability matter. This is not an area of law in which a person should attempt to represent themselves. In order to succeed, you will need to gather evidence and refute arguments that the defendants will likely make to avoid liability. It is best to obtain a knowledgeable attorney to help you avoid costly mistakes.
Although product liability claims use the doctrine of strict liability in order to help plaintiffs recover compensation more easily, defective design cases have an additional requirement. While ordinarily you would only have to prove that you were hurt while using a product in order to recover compensation, with design defect claims, you will also have to show that there was an alternative design that could have been used. It may be impossible for you to prove this requirement without the help of an attorney. Attorneys who have dealt with these cases before can hire experts and gather the evidence necessary to prove this challenging aspect of your case.
Why Choose The Benton Law Firm to Handle My Case?
After a serious injury from a defectively designed product, it is important to hire a qualified attorney immediately so that you can have the best chance of recovery. You will want to find an attorney who can effectively represent your best interests in the courts and settlement negotiations. At The Benton Law Firm, we are proud to put your interests first and strive to provide you with the best possible service along the way.
The Benton Law Firm’s founder, Jeff Benton, has dedicated his practice to assisting injured individuals in his community in Dallas. Prior to starting The Benton Law Firm, Jeff worked for a large full-service, international law firm and clerked in federal court in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Jeff has received many honors and accolades as an attorney, including the John Howie award from the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association.
As a whole, the attorney team at The Benton Law Firm strives to provide you with a great experience during your case. We are dedicated to seeking the best outcome for you, and we are personally invested in the cases we take on. We take every case seriously, starting with a free consultation so that you can understand the potential value of your case. We never take a fee unless you recover compensation, and then we are paid only a percentage of your award after you receive it.
What is a Defectively Designed Product?
Design defects occur when the actual design of the product is unreasonably dangerous. Even a product that is manufactured perfectly will be dangerous if it carries a design defect. This also means that design defects will affect every product sold, opening up the possibility for class action lawsuits. A manufacturer may be liable for a design defect if there was a foreseeable risk of injury even though the product was manufactured as intended and used as intended.
For example, if a device with moving parts, such as a metal fan, is covered by a guard, it can be assumed that the guard will actually protect the user from the moving parts. If there is too large of a gap between the parts of the guard so that a person’s hand or fingers fit in between, then a person could be injured by the blades of the fan. If this type of injury occurred, the person may be able to bring a successful product liability case based on the size of the gaps, since it would be foreseeable that a hand would fit through and be injured.
Some common products that may be involved in design defect cases include:
- Automobile parts
- Children’s toys
- Medical devices
- Electrical equipment
- Power tools
It is important to note that part of showing that a product was defectively designed is to demonstrate an alternative design. With the example of a fan with metal blades, there are many alternatives to the guard with gaps that are too wide, since a guard with smaller gaps could be manufactured in hundreds of different ways. This would prevent someone’s hand from going through the guard and becoming injured. In cases where there is no alternative design, it is much harder to show that a product was defectively designed.
Proving a Defectively Designed Product Case
Product liability claims are unique among personal injury claims in that they can be brought under the theory of strict liability. Under this doctrine, you will not need to prove that the designer was negligent. Instead, you will have to show a few main things:
- The product contained an unreasonably dangerous defect
- You were injured because of this defect
- When your injury occurred, you were using the product in the way it was intended to be used
- When your injury occurred, the product was in effectively the same condition as it was when you purchased it
While these are the only requirements for a product liability claim, if you choose to allege a design defect, you will have to meet a few more requirements. These include that:
- An alternative, safer design could have been used
- This alternative design was reasonable in terms of cost and capability
- The alternative design would have maintained the product’s function while improving safety
When considering an alternative design for a product and whether it is feasible, the question of cost is a significant factor. To figure out how much would be too much to require a company to pay to use an alternate design, the courts often use what is called a cost-benefit analysis. The court estimates the additional costs of a safer design and compares it to the costs for damage from injuries if the less safe design is used. The damage from injuries would include medical expenses, lost wages, and the cost of legal proceedings. Your attorney will typically make arguments about all of these costs to demonstrate that an alternative design was feasible.
Compensation in a Defectively Designed Product Case
If you were seriously injured due to a defectively designed product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This compensation should cover both economic and non-economic losses you suffered as a result of the product defect. It can include compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance rides, emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, doctor appointments, medical devices, home care, and even transportation costs to and from appointments
- Lost wages, if you have to miss work while you are in recovery for your injuries
- Lost earning potential, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your job at the same rate of pay or same hours as before
- Property damage, if the product defect damaged any of your property, such as causing a fire in your home
- Rehabilitative expenses, including both physical therapy and emotional therapy
- Disfigurement and disability compensation
- Pain and suffering, for intangible losses such as mental anguish and loss of consortium
If your loved one passed away as a result of using a defectively designed product, you may also be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer. Through this claim, you can recover compensation for losses such as medical expenses incurred from the incident up to their death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of emotional support, and more. Only specific family members of the deceased are eligible to file wrongful death claims, so if you are interested, be sure to reach out to a lawyer from The Benton Law Firm to learn if this is an option for you.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a defectively designed product, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about how you can hold negligent product designers and manufacturers accountable for their mistakes, contact the product liability lawyers from The Benton Law Firm today. You can schedule a free consultation when you call us at (214) 777-7777, chat live with us on our website, or fill out an online contact form.