What To Look For When Hiring a Product Liability Attorney
A product liability attorney is responsible for defending consumer rights and taking to task any company that puts others in danger. In most cases, when consumer goods hurt someone, it’s due to negligence somewhere in the supply line. Perhaps the designer didn’t prototype thoroughly or test the item for any possible health effects. Perhaps the company responsible for manufacturing the item maintains poor quality controls. No matter the reason, an accident is almost always preventable if everyone does their due diligence before releasing the item to the public. Unfortunately, such basic safety measures are often overlooked, usually because the company believes that the risk of hurting consumers is worth the money saved on reduced testing and quality controls.
WHAT KINDS OF CLAIMS ARE COMMON IN THE HOUSTON AREA?
A product liability attorney has to be ready for almost anything. Any item that is sold to consumers can be involved in a claim, but there are a few goods that seem to be involved in the bulk of suits. These include pharmaceutical goods, vehicles, children’s toys, industrial equipment, and hazardous chemicals.
Pharmaceutical items, like medications and medical devices, are often the subject of expensive claims. This is because defective medications and devices are capable of causing severe harm. Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for testing their medications to ensure they don’t result in serious side effects. Medical device designers have to follow the same guidelines. However, it seems like every year several medications are found to be dangerous to some patients. Independent researchers are usually the people who uncover such risks, and pharmaceutical companies often work to hide results counter to their bottom line.
Inherently dangerous vehicles used to be a serious concern, though automakers have improved in this area. However, SUVs with a tendency to rollover and having defective parts, particularly tires and airbags, continue to plague the industry.
Children’s toys are also safer than they used to be, but there are still many toy designs that pose serious choking hazards. Also, cheap toys made in unregulated factories may use lead-based paint on their goods, and this can cause serious cognitive complications if ingested or inhaled.
Defective industrial equipment doesn’t make the headlines, mostly because people expect a certain level of danger in industrial settings. However, malfunctioning conveyors, lifters, augers, and elevators are all capable of crushing and severing limbs. Inadequate controls and safety fallbacks are common in malfunctioning industrial equipment, and companies responsible for their manufacturing often fail to check their items for safety.
Hazardous chemicals are usually involved in claims if they are not labeled properly for the consumer. Warning labels must point out if the chemical is flammable, corrosive, or deadly if inhaled. If this labeling is not present, it is often impossible to tell how the substance behaves.
Anyone who has been hurt by a defective item and lives in the Houston area should consider a product liability attorney when exploring legal options. A lawyer can help a victim get the compensation needed for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages, ensuring they can maintain their standard of living while recovering from an accident.