If you were hurt by a product in Texas, you are probably wondering if you have a strong case.
To prove your Texas case of products liability (which is essentially the name for the area of law that covers cases such as those involving defective products) you must prove these four facts:
- You were hurt and/or suffered some type of loss: Did the accident happen? Or did it almost happen? Without an injury, you’re out of luck.
- The product has some type of defect: Manufacturing defect? Design error? Were you not warned of a hazard? How hard this is to prove depends upon your specific product liability case.
- That defect led to your injury: Arguing you were hurt while using the product won’t cut it. You have to prove that the product defect caused your injury.
- You were using the product according to its instructions and design: You have to have used the product in a way that it was designed to be used when you were hurt.
(Access the Texas Civil Code that discusses products liability and defective products for details on the laws.)
Texas’ time limits extend beyond typical product warranties
You probably have heard of the Texas statute of limitations, which is two years from the date the injury took place for a claim to be filed.
But did you know about Texas’ statute of repose? This establishes an overall time limit for a product liability lawsuit. It does not use the date of your injury to establish a time frame for when the suit must occur.
The statute of repose sets up a time restriction of no later than 15 years from the date the defendant sold the product.
This prevents unlimited liability for a seller or manufacturer. It creates a lifespan for the use of the product.
The statute of limitations vs. the statute of repose can get confusing and there are a lot of details there. You should talk to an experienced product liability attorney if you have questions.
See also our guide to Texas products liability cases, including defective products.