Defective Products and Product Liability in California
Defects can make products dangerous, rather than helpful. In a nutshell, a product is defective if it did not perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would have expected at the time of use.
Product liability is the area of personal injury law that deals with liability for damages caused by defective products. This area of law is important because everyone purchases a product at one point or another, whether it be a farmer purchasing a tractor or a mother purchasing a toy for a child.
Liability for Defective Products
In the chain of distribution, a product makes its way through numerous parties as it travels from the manufacturer all the way to the consumer. Therefore, many parties may be held liable for a defective product, including the manufacturer, retailers, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, consultants, contractors, quality control engineers, designers, or other liable parties.
However, if you have been injured by a defective product, it’s important to determine which of these parties are actually liable for your injuries and, therefore, should be named as defendants in any legal claim you may pursue. An experienced product liability attorney can investigate what caused your injuries, determine who is liable in your case, and file a claim on your behalf if warranted.
Basis for Liability for Damages Caused By a Defective Product
In California, a manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, retailer, or anyone else in the defective product’s chain of distribution may be held strictly liable for any damages caused by the defective product, regardless of fault or negligence.
Strict liability for injuries caused by a defective product may be based on a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or a warning defect.
A manufacturing defect may be involved when a manufacturer did not:
- Assemble a product properly;
- Test a product properly; and/or
- Adequately evaluate the quality of the product.
A design defect may be involved when a product was designed improperly, most often due to a failure to adequately evaluate the design of a product with regard to the likelihood that a person may be injured while using it.
Lastly, a warning defect may be involved when a manufacturer did not place a warning on the package of a product that could cause injury if the user is unaware of the danger.
Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Defective Product
If you have been injured by a defective product in California, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. However, you must file a case within two years of the injury.
The courts have carefully designed the laws that govern the rights of consumers who have been injured by defective products, the duties of those who manufacture, distribute or sell products under these laws, and who can be held liable for injuries and losses sustained as a result of a breach of these duties.
Our product liability attorneys can help you determine who can be held liable for your injuries and assist you with recovering the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product in California, contact our law firm today, by phone or online, to consult with an experienced California product liability attorney.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Personal Injury Lawyer
Christopher Montes de Oca is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Chris is recognized as a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” a recognition that only 2.5 percent of lawyers receive, because of the exceptional results he has seen and his dedication to his clients. Chris services clients throughout Los Angeles, including Echo Park, Maywood, Long Beach, Whittier, Glendale, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Hacienda Heights, and Alhambra. Call him today for a free consultation at (562) 901-4664.