Defective products have the potential to cause significant harm to consumers, including spinal cord injuries. Injured victims can file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the defective product. This may include the manufacturer, distributor, or even the retailer in certain cases.
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Common Defective Products Responsible for Spinal Cord Injuries
Defective products have the potential to inflict severe spinal cord injuries, altering lives in an instant. Among the most common culprits are malfunctioning car components, particularly airbags and seat belts, which are designed to protect occupants during accidents. When these safety features fail due to design flaws or manufacturing defects, victims can suffer devastating trauma.
Additionally, poorly designed children’s products, such as car seats and strollers, can pose significant risks, especially if they lack crucial safety mechanisms. Medical devices, like improperly constructed surgical instruments or faulty implants, can also potentially lead to catastrophic spinal injuries.
Types of Product Liability Cases
When a defective or unreasonably dangerous product causes a spinal cord injury, the victim has the right to file a product liability lawsuit in Houston against those responsible. Common examples of the types of product liability cases pursued include:
Design Defect Claims
A design defect claim can be filed when a product is inherently dangerous due to a problem with its conception or initial design. As an example, suppose the design of a ladder contains a critical flaw in the locking mechanism that secures the extension in place. Over time, this mechanism weakens, making it prone to sudden failure, even under normal usage conditions. One day, a homeowner uses this ladder and without warning, the extension gives way, causing the ladder to collapse. The individual falls, suffering a severe impact that leads to a spinal cord injury. In this scenario, the design defect in the ladder’s locking mechanism directly contributes to the accident and subsequent spinal cord injury.
Manufacturing Defect Claims
With a manufacturing defect, a product essentially becomes defective due to a problem during manufacturing. For example, a product manufactured with missing or poor-quality components. It is typically a batch or a limited number of products with a defect rather than the product as a whole. For instance, if a vehicle’s seat belt assembly line experiences a critical error during production. This error causes a batch of seatbelts to be improperly manufactured, resulting in weakened and faulty restraints.
Failure to Warn Claims
This type of product liability claim is the result of inadequate instructions or marketing materials that come with a product. An example of a failure to warn claim leading to a spinal cord injury could involve a medical device manufacturer. Imagine a company producing a spinal implant that is used in surgical procedures to correct vertebral issues. Despite knowing about potential risks associated with the device, such as improper placement leading to spinal cord damage, the manufacturer fails to adequately inform surgeons or patients about these dangers. Consequently, a patient undergoes the surgery, and due to the lack of proper warning, the implant is incorrectly placed, resulting in a severe spinal cord injury.
Failure to Properly Test Product Claim
The duty to test a product properly is a subpart of the other three types of responsibilities a manufacturer owes consumers. In other words, if the manufacturer failed to test the product properly, then they also either failed in its design, manufacturing, or warning of inherent dangers.
What Compensation Can I Recover For a Spinal Cord Injury from a Defective Product?
You can potentially recover the following types of compensation by pursuing a product liability claim:
Medical Expenses: Compensation for all past and future medical costs related to the spinal cord injury. This includes surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, home modifications, assistive devices, and ongoing healthcare needs.
Lost Wages and Future Earnings: If the injury leads to missed work or hinders the victim’s ability to earn a living in the future, they can seek compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity.
Property Damage: In cases where the defective product caused damage to personal property (e.g., a car accident caused by a faulty component), victims can seek reimbursement for repairs or replacement.
Pain and Suffering: Victims are entitled to seek damages for the physical pain and emotional distress endured due to the spinal cord injury and its consequences on their quality of life.
Loss of Consortium: In some cases, spouses or family members may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and services of the injured individual.
In cases where the defendant’s (at-fault party’s) conduct was particularly egregious or demonstrated a reckless disregard for safety, punitive damages may be awarded as punishment and to deter similar behavior in the future.