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Damages in Houston Product Liability Cases | Houston Injury Damages Attorney
When someone is injured because of a defective product and a product liability lawsuit is brought, the first thing most people want to know is what damages they can recover. Fortunately for those injured, product liability lawsuits and settlements have produced some of the largest monetary verdicts in recent courtroom history.
Houston Product Liability lawyers will work hard for you, making sure than you maximize your results and are compensated for the injuries that have been caused to you. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, including but not limited to tires, automobiles, dangerous drugs, children's toys, power tools, or anything else, please contact a Houston Product Liability lawyer for assistance.
The Effect of the Economy and Product Liability Verdicts
Fortunately, this is where a Houston Product Liability lawyer can help you. Houston defective product lawyers are experienced and well versed, not just in settling cases, but in all aspects of litigation, including trials and, if necessary, appeals. Thus, regardless how a product manufacturer or insurance company chooses to proceed, a Harris County Product Liability lawyer will be prepared to optimize your results and get the most damages for you.
What damages are recoverable by a Houston Defective Product lawyer in a products liability lawsuit?
The short answer is those that are caused by the defective product. Product liability law is a product of both tort law and contract law. Generally, the injured party can recover for damages that naturally flow from the incident causing the injuries. If a defectively made heater malfunctions and burns down a house, the homeowner is entitled to recover the costs of repairing or replacing the house, as well as, the cost to rent a place while the repairs are made or the house is rebuilt.
When there is fault, responsibility or liability damages generally include:
- Economic Losses. Economic loss includes actual lost wages and/or loss of earning capacity. For example, you may have been working making $35,000.00 a year and, as a direct and proximate result of the injury, you now can only make $10,000.00 a year. A trained Houston products defect attorney will attempt to prove that you have suffered at least a $25,000.00 a year loss to your earning capacity. Sometimes, with the correct evidence, if available, a trained Harris County defective product lawyer can show that you would have worked well beyond the 65 year old general age of retirement.
- Medical Bills. You should be able to recover the reasonable and necessary medical bills.
- Mental Anguish.
- Pain & Suffering.
- Physical Disfigurement. In some instances, if there is scarring from burns or surgeries, you may be able to recover Physical Disfigurement.
Can a party recover Punitive Damages in a Product Liability lawsuit?
When in a state that permits the recovery of punitive damages, or exemplary damages, it is possible. Punitive damages are a type of damages which are intended not to compensate the victim for losses but to punish the bad conduct. Many times, punitive damages will get media attention because large jury verdicts attract the public eye. However, punitive damages are quite rare. If punitive damages are proper, they are based on reprehensibility of the conduct and to deter the actor and others from engaging in this type of behavior. For example, a large verdict of punitive damages assessed against a car maker that failed to use a $100 part because it was cheaper to pay survivors, than to install the part on every car, can make others spend a few dollars more, to make safer products, so that lives are more important than profits. A Houston Product Liability lawyer will know if punitive damages should be pursued. Houston, Texas product liability lawyers are ready to assess your claim and explain the types of monetary damages to which you are entitled.
Texas has a statute for exemplary or punitive damages in the Civil Practice & Remedies Code. Chapter 41, Section 41.001 defines exemplary damages as:
"Exemplary damages" means any damages awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment but not for compensatory purposes. Exemplary damages are neither economic nor noneconomic damages. 'Exemplary damages' includes punitive damages."
In proving gross negligence, the product liability attorney has a higher burden of proof. Normally, the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, but in a Houston punitive damage products case, the standard is higher. The culpability of the product manufacturer and/or product designer and/or product distributor must be proven by the clear and convincing evidence standard.
If you have a product liability claim and want to know more about punitive damages or product liability statutes, including very hard to grasp concepts such as the duty of a manufacturer to indemnify the distributor, please contact one of the defective products attorneys on this site.
Houston Product Liability Lawyer
Sometimes, defective products can have severe consequences, such as deaths. When someone is killed by a defective product and the surviving family members wonder if a lawsuit may be in order, a Houston product liability death lawyer can help them assess the legal issues and prepare necessary documents and expert witnesses for trial. A Houston defective product attorney will assess fault and determine the proper parties to assert claims against. The following are some of the people who commonly file Houston wrongful death and product liability actions, spouses, children, parents and the estate.
Apportionment of Fault in Product Liability Actions
In a product liability, or defective product action, what happens when multiple parties were at fault and each contributed to your injury? What if you were partially at fault for your own injury? These are all questions that a Houston product liability lawyer can help you answer. Call one of the Houston defective product attorneys listed on this site today for an explanation of the law relating to apportionment of fault and damages. Your Houston injury lawyer will make sure that all responsible parties are joined in your lawsuit and that each is held accountable for the damages caused.
What happens, for instance, when a journeyman construction worker is injured by a power tool. A product manufacturer may defend itself on the basis of the user's actual knowledge, for example, arguing that no experienced construction worker would ever use this power tool in the manner done so in this case. This is where apportionment of fault (comparative or contributory fault) may be argued by the manufacturer or seller in situations in which it shares responsibility for the accident with the user, based on the user's own negligent conduct.
Twelve states, including Texas, use a 50% comparative fault system. Under this modified version of comparative fault, a plaintiff can only recover if the jury apportions that plaintiff only 49% or less of the fault in causing the accident to the plaintiff. Therefore, if the jury determines that a plaintiff is 50% responsible, then that plaintiff will not be able to recover. The states that do not follow either comparative negligence system explained above or contributory negligence use the 51% comparative fault system. Under this modified version of comparative fault, an injured party can only recover when the jury determines that his percentage of fault is less than 51%. Unlike the 50% comparative fault system, a plaintiff in a 51% comparative fault jurisdiction can still recover even if both parties were equally, meaning 50% at fault, or responsible for the injury. This is the system used in Texas and will be applicable to your Houston product liability case.
For correct information on fault and damages in your specific case, call a Houston product liability attorney today for a free initial consultation.
Product Liability Lawyers Serve Houston and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout southeast Texas, including Aldine, Baytown, Bellaire, Beaumont, Channelview, Cloverleaf, Conroe, Deer Park, Friendswood, Galena Park, Galveston, Hedwig Village, Highlands, Hilshire Village, Humble, Jacinto City, Katy, League City, Magnolia, Mission Bend, Missouri City, Pasadena, Pearland, Porter, Sealy, South Houston, Spring Valley, Stafford, The Meadows, The Woodlands, Waller and West University.