What is Product Liability for Defective Products?
Manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and distributors all have a legal responsibility to protect consumers from the dangers of defective products. Product liability is the manufacturer or seller’s state of responsibility for providing defective products for sale to California consumers. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff (the injured party) to prove product liability in their case.
California state law imposes strict liability on distributors and manufacturers for any injuries caused by defective products. What strict liability means in this case is that these parties could potentially be held responsible for defective product injuries even if they did not know or were negligent about the existence of dangerous defects.
Our law firm has years of experience representing various personal injury cases, including complex defective product injury claims. We would be proud to lend our legal assistance to you as you pursue financial recovery for your injuries and other losses.
How Do You Prove a California Product Liability Case?
The injured party must prove that the product had a hazardous defect which made it unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. There are three different types of product defects recognized under California law: manufacturing defects, warning defects, and design defects.
The plaintiff must prove that the product already had the defect when it was in the defendant’s possession and on store shelves. If the defect developed while the product was no longer under the control or possession of the defendant, then they shall not be held liable for any damages.
You must have been using the product in a reasonably foreseeable manner. What this means is that you must have been using the product in a way that its manufacturers and sellers anticipated. If you were using the product in a way that was unforeseeable, there may be no product liability.
Finally, you must demonstrate causation. As a result of the defect, you suffered an injury or other damages. If there is no injury or economic loss, then there may be no case.
What Are Different Kinds of Product Defects?
The different types of product liability defects include:
- Design defects. This type of defect occurs during the design phase, and the design may be inherently flawed, making it unreasonably hazardous for its intended use. Even if the product was manufactured correctly, its inherent design flaws still make it dangerous.
- Manufacturing defects. This type of defect arises during the assembly or production process of the product. The result of this type of defect is that the product is not assembled according to plan, potentially resulting in dangerous defects. Manufacturing defects can occur because of quality control issues, defective parts, substandard materials, and human error.
- Warning defects. There must be a warning to consumers about potential hazards. Consumers must be informed about possible risks. Clear instructions must also be presented to consumers.
What Are the Most Common Defective Product Cases in California?
Virtually any product on America’s store shelves could potentially have issues of some kind and become the basis of a product liability claim.
Common examples include:
- Asbestos exposure.
- Dangerous chemicals.
- Dangerous children’s toys.
- Dangerous drugs.
- Defective airbags.
- Defective auto parts.
- Defective building materials.
- Defective medical devices.
- Defective workplace products.
- Faulty motor vehicle design.
- Mesothelioma exposure.
- Overheating brake shoes.
- Poisonous rubbers.
What Should You Do if a Defective Product Has Caused You Injury?
While some injuries caused by defective products may immediately announce themselves, such as burns, electrocution, or broken bones, other injuries may take months or years to fully develop. If you believe that you have been a victim of a defective product, the very first thing you must do is seek immediate medical attention.
Attempt to preserve the defective product in the state it was at the time of the accident. The defective product will be valuable evidence for your personal injury claim.
When pursuing legal action for your defective product case, we recommend that you contact our law firm for legal guidance. We have extensive experience representing personal injury cases, and we would be proud to lend legal aid to you during this challenging time.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Claims in CA?
You have two years from the date of the injury or from the date that your injury was discovered to file your personal injury suit. Factors like the involvement of government entities, a wrongful death, or property damage may alter the time window provided to injury victims.
Contact us to learn more.
Who Has Liability for Defective Product Injuries?
There are several parties who may potentially be held financially accountable for damages in product liability cases.
- Wholesalers and distributors.
What Kind of Compensation Could You Potentially Receive in a Defective Product Personal Injury Case?
If the case is successful, and you are able to prove that liability rests on the shoulders of at-fault parties, your defective product case could result in a fair settlement for your damages. Your compensation could take the form of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages may help compensate you for the following:
- Emergency room visits.
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a fatal accident.
- Lost income earning capacity.
- Lost wages.
- Past medical bills and future medical expenses.
- Physical therapy expenses.
- Property damage.
Non-economic damages can help compensate you for the following:
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Lost companionship.
- Lost consortium
- Mental anguish.
- Pain and suffering.
- Wrongful death.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Defective Product Attorney Today
The legal process can be complicated and feel all the more so when you are contending with powerful companies and their teams of lawyers. Remember that you do not have to accept the initial settlement offer because you can often do better after negotiating for a superior settlement. We would be proud to negotiate, deal with the insurance companies, and give you your case to a court of law if necessary. You should be allowed time to recover from the defective product accident, so let us do the legal legwork as we attempt to file your claim and recover fair compensation for your losses.
Contact us for a free consultation. 909.325.6185.