Consumers expect the products they purchase to be safe and for manufacturers to provide warnings of potential risks associated with those products. Unfortunately, defective products injure thousands of Americans each year, sometimes resulting in permanent injury or death. Product Liability is the legal concept under which manufacturers, wholesalers or retailers are held responsible when consumers are injured by defective products. Examples of product liability cases include SUV rollover claims and asbestos injury claims.
If you feel that have been injured by a defective product, it is important to speak with an experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury attorney to determine if you have a Product Liability case. Product liability cases can be complex and it is essential that evidence of the defective product and injury be preserved early on. Our Los Angeles product liability attorney is highly- focused on product defect and personal injury claims and offer free case evaluations to victims and their families.
Products Liability Basics
Under product liability law, when a consumer is injured by a product, the manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer may be liable if the product was defective at the time it was placed into the stream of commerce.
Courts have stated that they believe it preferable that the cost of damages from defective products should be spread amongst consumers rather than make a sole individual absorb the costs of a defective product. This means that an injured party can sue the maker of the product for injury related compensation. Consequently the product cost is increased slightly by the producer in order to cover the money that they have to pay out for injuries. The underlying thinking of this reckoning is that it is better for a huge number of people to put up with a small price increase rather than one person be killed or injured and not receive the compensation they are entitled to advised our wrongful death lawyer.
Types of Product Liability Claims
The concept of product liability, includes different types of claims for damages that have been caused by a product. The three types of product liability claims are manufacturing defects, design defects and “failure to warn” claims.
Design defect: Design defects occur where the product design is inherently dangerous or unsafe, or the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design. An example of a Design Defect claim might occur where building materials used in the construction of new homes causes illness or injury to consumers exposed to the materials.
A vehicle may roll over too easily for example. This may be because a wheelbase is too narrow or a vehicles weight may not be distributed evenly. If the vehicle is too prone to rolling over there may be scope for a Los Angeles product liability attorney lawsuit even if the car left the factory exactly as it was intended.
Manufacturing defect: Manufacturing defects are those that occur in the production process or when the product departs from its intended design. An example of a manufacturing defect might include: a faulty brake line in an automobile that causes leads to injury of a consumer or a third party.
There are other instances though when a car may have been well designed but a fault occurs on the assembly line. For example, some time ago glass soda bottles were commonly used and it was documented that these bottles would explode in a person’s hand. Maybe one million of these bottles were sold before one actually exploded. Because of this it may have been difficult to prove that there was an inherent defect in the product. But if a person did not do anything out of the ordinary to the bottle before it exploded there is a good chance that it was unreasonably weak.
A manufacturing defect lawsuit is more difficult for a company to defend against as opposed to a design defect. A manufacturing defect may only affect a small number of products so there may not be multiple claims. Therefore companies may not be willing to invest so much money in defending cases of these types.
Failure-to-warn (sometimes referred to as defective warnings or marketing defects): Failure-to-warn defects arise in products that carry inherent non-obvious dangers which could be mitigated through adequate warnings to the user. An example of Failure-to-Warn claim might occur where a consumer has been injured by a pharmaceutical drug that lacked appropriate warnings about risks involved in taking the drug.
Potentially Liable Parties
When a consumer is injured by a defective product, different parties are potentially responsible. These include the manufacturer, the manufacturer of component parts, the wholesaler and the retail store that sold to the product.
Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations for Products Liability Claims in California is two years from the time that the victim discovered the injury. This means lawsuits for injuries caused by defective products must be filed within 2 years of the date the victim discovers that he or she has been injured.
Strict Liability in Products Liability
The concept of strict liability applies to most California defective product cases. Strict liability focuses on whether the product was safe and a manufacturer can be held liable even if negligence is not proven. However, even in strict liability cases, claimants will have to prove that the product was manufactured or sold by the party sued. Claimants will also have to show that the product was defective and that the defect caused the claimant’s injury.
Hire a Los Angeles Product Liability Attorney
Products Liability claims can be complex and often require extra time, effort, research, and analysis. Most products liability cases require expert testimony to prove the existence of a manufacturing or design defect. Due to the complexity of product liability cases, these types of cases should be handled by an experienced product liability attorney.
Our Los Angeles Product Liability firm is highly- focused on product defect and personal injury claims and have helped many victims recover for their injuries. We are extremely knowledgeable about defective product litigation and work closely with experienced experts.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, either at home or at work, it is important to speak with an experienced Los Angeles product liability lawyer about your rights.
Please contact us to set up a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your products liability case with one of our experienced Los Angeles Products Liability attorneys.