Defective products cause a remarkable number of injuries every year. Consumers often get hurt because manufacturers sell unsafe products, including truck tires that fail and exploding pressure cookers.
However, under state law, manufacturers are liable for selling defective products that cause injuries. Therefore, anyone hurt by a faulty item could claim compensation, known as damages, from the manufacturer in a civil suit.
Damages in Houston defective product cases could include reimbursement for an injured person’s medical bills, lost income, suffering, and sometimes an additional amount to punish manufacturers for their negligence. Contact a dedicated faulty products lawyer at Roberts Markland LLP today to learn more about potential damages that might be available to you.
Economic damages—sometimes known as special damages—reimburse accident victims for their injury-related expenses. Special damages cover all medical treatment costs, including emergency transportation, copayments, deductibles, medication expenses, mileage to travel to appointments, parking, and other incidentals. Likewise, rehabilitation and medical equipment costs like wheelchairs, prosthetics, and oxygen tanks are included in special damages.
People often miss time at work after an injury. However, monetary damages also compensate victims for lost wages. In severe cases, a person may be unable to return to work. Special damages pay the difference between what the person can earn after the injury and what they would have earned over the rest of their working life if the accident had not happened.
A hardworking attorney in Houston could help individuals injured in faulty product cases compile proof of their special damages through receipts, invoices, tax returns, and employment records. Additionally, medical experts could provide an opinion about the cost of medical care that victims might require in the future to ensure they receive the maximum compensation they deserve.
An injury’s intangible effects are often far more devastating than its economic impact. When someone experiences severe injuries due to a defective product, their physical pain might be excruciating. For example, victims might require hospitalization for weeks or months, missing family activities and social opportunities. In some cases, a person’s injuries might temporarily or permanently reduce their physical functioning, preventing them from participating in activities they once enjoyed. As a result, victims might develop depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and their family relationships might suffer.
In the most tragic cases, a defective product could leave an active person physically and cognitively impaired, requiring home care or full-time care in a skilled nursing facility. Non-economic, or general damages, provide compensation for these immeasurable losses.
Determining the value of general damages may also require expert knowledge. For instance, to prove these losses, a knowledgeable lawyer in Houston could present expert-witness testimony, photographs or videos, and witness accounts to persuade juries to award injured people for diminished quality of life.
In rare cases, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.003 allows an injured person to ask for exemplary damages, also called punitive damages. The state permits exemplary damages if the defendant—often a manufacturer in faulty product cases—engaged in fraud, malice, or gross negligence.
If a manufacturer hid data indicating their products were unsafe, an injured plaintiff could allege that the manufacturer committed fraud and ask the court to award exemplary damages. Ignoring information that a product could be dangerous may also be grossly negligent. If a skilled attorney in Houston finds credible evidence of fraud, malice, or gross negligence, they could ask a court to allow a jury to consider awarding exemplary damages.
The law limits exemplary damages awards to double the special and general damages up to $750,000. However, if this formula produces an award of less than $200,000, the jury could award up to $200,000 in exemplary damages.
If a defective product contributed to your injuries, you could seek significant compensation from the manufacturer. Although companies are strictly liable for the harm they cause when they sell a defective product, these cases can be complicated and often require a capable legal representative.
Fortunately, a Houston attorney is skilled in advocating for people who have suffered harm due to defective products. Get in touch with Roberts Markland LLP to explore your legal options after sustaining an injury.