If you have been injured by a defective product or by someone else’s negligence in Texas, you may be wondering what legal options you have, especially if there is some issue with a product vs. someone’s actions. In this blog post, we will describe the difference between Texas product liability and Texas personal injury and how the two areas overlap.
Product liability is a type of personal injury law that deals with injuries caused by defective or dangerous products. A product can be defective in its design, manufacturing or marketing. A product liability claim can be brought against any party involved in the production of the product, such as the manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler. Product liability claims are based on strict liability, which means that the plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant was negligent. Generally speaking, the plaintiff only has to prove that the product was defective and that the defect caused the injury.
Personal injury is a broader term that covers any type of injury caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care that a prudent person would use in a similar situation. A personal injury claim can be brought against any person or entity that caused or contributed to the injury, whether an individual or entity. Personal injury claims are based on negligence or fault, which means that the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant breached a duty of care and that the breach caused the injury.
The main difference between product liability and personal injury cases is that personal injury cases do not assign injury directly to an object. Rather, they focus on the actions or inactions of the parties involved. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor at a grocery store, you may have a personal injury claim against the store owner for failing to warn you of the hazard or to clean up the spill. However, if you slip and fall on a pair of shoes that have a faulty sole, you may have a product liability claim against the shoe manufacturer for selling a defective product.
Product liability and personal injury cases can overlap when both a product defect and a human error contribute to an injury. For example, if you are injured by an airbag that fails to deploy properly in a car accident, you may have both a product liability claim against the airbag manufacturer and a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident. Or, if an 18-wheeler’s brakes fail but the driver did not meet his duty of care to follow proper procedure in checking them prior to transporting his load, you may have a product liability case against the brake manufacturer and a negligence claim against the driver and his company.