Who Is Liable in Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Personal injury claims can arise from various accidents and incidents, each with a unique set of circumstances. Understanding who is liable for your injuries and damages can be challenging, but it is necessary to seek adequate compensation. Responsible parties you could encounter in a personal injury lawsuit include:
Manufacturers can be liable for a victim’s injuries and damages when their products either caused or contributed to an injury. These are known as defective products. Sometimes, products or drugs are defective or dangerous, causing harm to consumers. Affected products can include a range of items that we use daily, such as:
- Electric appliances
- Medical devices
The Three Types of Product Defects
A product manufacturer may be held liable under a theory of product liability if a defect exists in a product’s design, manufacturing, or marketing.
- Manufacturing Defects: Manufacturing defects are errors or flaws occurring during the production of a product. Mistakes in manufacturing can include using inferior materials when making the product, contaminating medication during manufacture, and installing faulty wiring in an item.
- Design Faults: Design faults typically affect an entire product line and occur when a design is inherently flawed and dangerous to consumers. Examples can include items of furniture that topple over too easily, an electric appliance that overheats when used correctly, and overly flammable clothing items.
- Marketing Defects: Also called “failure to warn,” marketing defects occur when manufacturers neglect to inform consumers about potential dangers and risks associated with a product. Examples can include incomplete side-effect information on medication labels or failing to post warnings on the packaging of a dangerous power tool.
Manufacturers must ensure that their products are reasonably safe to use and don’t pose unreasonable risks to consumers. If you were hurt due to a defective product, you may have a personal injury case.
Corporations and businesses can be held liable in personal injury lawsuits. Here are some common personal injury scenarios when companies are responsible:
Businesses and property owners must maintain reasonably safe premises for customers and visitors. A property owner’s exact duties under the law depend on the status of the entrant on the property at the time of injury.
You could be entitled to compensation if you suffer an injury due to a hazard on the premises, such as broken flooring or loose mats. Likewise, if you suffer an injury by a criminal act on business premises, the company may be liable under a theory of negligent security.
Employers can be held liable for their employee’s actions when the actions are taken in the course and scope of their employment. If an employee of a company injures you, it is important to determine if the wrongdoers were acting on behalf of their employer. If so, the company may be deemed responsible for your injuries.
Additionally, an employer may be directly liable when the actions of the company itself contributed to the injury-causing incident. For instance, if a corporation fails to hire and train truckers who understand the special rules applicable to commercial operators, the company may be held directly responsible for an injury caused by a trucker’s failure to obey one of those special rules.
A healthcare facility or nursing home may cause patients injuries due to negligence or recklessness. Those affected may hold a medical institution accountable for their damages.
Sometimes, a government entity is responsible for causing accidents and injuries. Personal injury claims involving the governmental agencies can include, among others:
- Car accidents caused by an unsafe road or lack of signage
- Slips and falls due to hazardous conditions on government property
- Negligent security incidents involving government property
- Accidents on government-owned public transportation
- Injuries caused by police negligence or brutality
Pursuing a personal injury claim against the government can be challenging and usually involves additional burdens. In addition, government entities in Texas may be protected from personal injury liability or have damage caps that limit the total recovery you may be entitled to.
If you believe a government entity caused your accident and injuries, consulting promptly with an experienced personal injury attorney can be critical for protecting your rights.
If you were hurt due to another person’s negligent actions, you can hold them liable and recover compensation. Examples can include:
- Car accidents: Drivers who engage in negligent behaviors, such as speeding, driving drunk, or texting while driving, can be held accountable for the accidents and injuries they cause.
- Slips and falls: Property owners or lessees who neglect to maintain their premises and let hazards persist could be held personally liable.
- Criminal acts: Individuals who harm others intentionally, through assault or battery, may be responsible for the resulting injuries and financial losses.
- Dog bites: If a dog attacks and injures a person, the dog owner may be personally responsible, especially if they are aware of the dog’s aggressive nature.
- Medical malpractice: Healthcare professionals, such as doctors or nurses, may be held accountable for the injuries and damages they cause if they behave negligently.
One crucial difference exists between suing an individual and suing a corporation, business, or government entity. Companies typically have insurance coverage for personal injury claims or hold assets for compensating victims. Individuals, on the other hand, may lack insurance coverage and financial resources to compensate an injured victim adequately.