Navigating Product Liability Lawsuits: A Guide for San Antonio Residents

san antonio product liability lawyer

Legal Theories for Product Liability

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In product liability cases, plaintiffs can use various legal theories to establish the defendant’s liability. These theories include negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.

Each of these theories has its own elements that must be proven in order to establish liability. In negligence cases, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the defendant breached that duty of care, that the breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the injuries.

Negligence

  • Defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  • Defendant breached that duty of care.
  • The breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the injuries.

In strict liability cases, the plaintiff does not need to prove that the defendant was negligent. Instead, the plaintiff only needs to prove that the product was defective and that the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Strict liability is often applied in cases involving products that are inherently dangerous, such as firearms or chemicals.

Strict Liability

  • The product was defective.
  • The defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

In breach of warranty cases, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a warranty about the product, that the warranty was breached, and that the breach of warranty caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Warranties can be either express or implied. Express warranties are made orally or in writing, while implied warranties are created by law.

Breach of Warranty

  • The defendant made a warranty about the product.
  • The warranty was breached.
  • The breach of warranty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Defenses to Product Liability Claims

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Manufacturers and sellers facing product liability claims often employ various defenses to escape liability. Understanding these defenses is crucial for both plaintiffs and defendants involved in such claims.

Defenses to product liability claims are legal arguments raised by manufacturers and sellers to counter allegations of liability. These defenses aim to prove that the plaintiff’s injuries or damages were not caused by the product or that the defendant is not responsible for the plaintiff’s harm.

Statute of Limitations

Statute of limitations laws set a time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed. If a plaintiff fails to file a product liability claim within the specified time frame, the court may dismiss the case.

Assumption of Risk

This defense asserts that the plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risk of using the product and cannot hold the defendant liable for any resulting injuries. It requires the defendant to show that the plaintiff knew and appreciated the risks associated with the product and chose to use it despite those risks.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is a defense that argues that the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to their injuries. If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff’s actions were partly responsible for the harm, the plaintiff’s recovery may be reduced or barred altogether.

Product Misuse

This defense alleges that the plaintiff used the product in a way that was not intended or foreseeable by the manufacturer. If the defendant can demonstrate that the plaintiff’s misuse of the product caused the injuries, the defendant may not be held liable.

Alteration or Modification

If the plaintiff altered or modified the product after purchase, the defendant may argue that the alteration or modification caused the injuries and not the original design or manufacture of the product.

Choosing a Product Liability Lawyer

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Selecting the right product liability lawyer is crucial for the success of your case. Here are some key factors to consider:

Experience

Experience in handling product liability cases is essential. Look for an attorney who has a proven track record of success in this specific area of law. They should be familiar with the complex legal issues involved and have a deep understanding of the applicable statutes and regulations.

Reputation

A good reputation among peers and clients is a valuable indicator of a lawyer’s competence and trustworthiness. Check online reviews, ask for referrals from other attorneys, and contact former clients to get a sense of the lawyer’s reputation and work ethic.

Fees

Legal fees can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case and the lawyer’s experience. Discuss fee arrangements upfront to avoid any surprises later on. Consider whether the lawyer charges an hourly rate, a contingency fee, or a combination of both.

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