We expect that the products we buy are safe when used as intended. Unfortunately, sometimes an item we use can suddenly blow up, crack, poison us or cause some other erratic action that leads to personal injury or even death.
There is legal recourse available for those injured by defective products. Victims can seek compensation for damages by filing a product liability claim against the liable party. Get the help you need by contacting the experienced California defective product lawyers at the Allen Law Firm.
Proving Your Case
Product liability claims are different from other types of personal injury claims in that you do not necessarily need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. Instead, you need to prove that the product was defective or that the manufacturer failed to provide sufficient warning of potential risks posed by the product.
This is called strict liability, and a victim of a dangerous or defective product has the legal right to file a lawsuit regardless of the manufacturer’s intent.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims tend to fall into three categories:
- Defective design. Design flaws exist before the product is manufactured. A product can be found to be defective in its design in one of two ways. First, under the so-called “consumer expectation test,” a product will be found defective if it does not perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect it to perform. Alternatively, if a product’s design is shown to have caused an injury, that design will be considered legally defective unless the manufacturer can prove that the benefits of that design outweigh the risks posed by the design.
- Defective manufacture. A manufacturing defect occurs while the product is being created. A product is said to contain a manufacturing defect if the product that is actually made is different in its design or specification from other typical units of the same product line. Because of this, only a few items may share the same defect.
- Failure To Warn. A manufacturer may be held liable if it fails to give consumers adequate warning of the potential risks posed by a product when those risks were known (or were knowable) by the manufacturer at the time the product was made.
Common types of product liability include:
- Defects in a car that would cause the car to flip over or cause the engine to shut off.
- A cracked chain in a swing set or other toy.
- A motorcycle missing its brake pads.
- Electric blankets that can cause electrocution.
- Paint remover with no instructions on proper use.
- Medications with no warnings about use with other medications.
Having a defect, however, does not make a manufacturer responsible for all injuries caused by the product. For example, if a car is defective, but you got into an accident because you were driving drunk, the manufacturer may not be liable for your actions.
Types of Damages Recoverable in a Product Liability Case
Suffering harm due to a defective product can result in serious injuries, ranging from traumatic brain injuries to burn injuries and just about everything in between. These injuries can be costly, resulting in high medical expenses, a diminished quality of life, and various other economic and noneconomic losses.
When a defective product causes harm, an injured party reserves the right to seek compensation for the full value of their losses, both economic and noneconomic. Types of damages that are recoverable in a product liability case, and which our product liability lawyer can help you to seek, include:
- Damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress;
- Compensation for medical expenses, including past and future medical expenses;
- Compensation for any out-of-pocket costs, such as travel expenses to medical appointments; and
- Compensation for lost wages and the value of future lost wages and benefits.
Our California product liability law firm can calculate the value of your damages and advocate for your full compensation award.
California Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Case
In order for your claim to be valid, you must file it within the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in California is two years from the date of the injury.
If you wait longer than two years’ time, you will be barred from recovery.
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you should schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This is recommended to ensure that your case is brought within the required time frame.
How a Product Liability Lawyer Can Help
If you believe that a product that you used caused you harm, and that the harm was a result of a product defect, it’s important that you schedule a consultation with a product liability lawyer who can review the facts of your case and advise you moving forward. Your attorney will help you by:
- Identifying the cause of your injury and gathering evidence to prove it;
- Identifying the type of product defect (manufacturing defect, design defect, warning defect);
- Calculating the value of your claim and assessing the extent of your damages;
- Ensuring that your case is brought within the statute of limitations;
- Issuing a demand letter; and
- Negotiating your settlement.
Remember that most companies that manufacture or design defective products are represented by high-powered, and highly-skilled, attorneys.
By failing to retain legal counsel yourself, you diminish your chances of walking away from your claim with the compensation award that you deserve.
In addition to managing all of the details and legal elements of your case, your attorney will also be available to answer any questions you have, guide your claim, and advise you of your options should reaching a settlement out of court prove impossible.
Our California product liability lawyers at the Allen Law Firm are skilled litigators, and will be prepared to take your case to court if need be.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer Today
If you were injured by a defective product, it’s important to seek compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, disability, lost income, and pain and suffering. A lawsuit will also hold the manufacturer responsible for its actions.
To file a product liability claim, contact the Monterey & Santa Cruz defective product lawyers at the Allen Law Firm.
We have more than two decades of experience helping injured clients in California recover the compensation they deserve.