We all use a variety of products every day. Whether it’s for health, food, transportation or personal care, many of these products can put us in significant danger if they are defective, such as a faulty airbag or a flawed child product. These potentially harmful products could cause fires, severe injury, illnesses and even death. With the help of experienced products liability lawyers, you could recover for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and future treatment.
What are the Types of Product Liability Claims?
Defective products are classified under a few categories based on how the product is harmful to the consumer and how to proceed with your product liability claim.
- Defectively Designed Product – Defectively designed products can be any type of product a consumer purchases or uses, such as poorly designed vehicles, flawed child products, inadequately designed safety equipment and medical devices, etc.
- Defectively Manufactured Product – A manufacturing defect is an error that occurred when the product was being made, and can make the product dangerous for use, such as a faulty airbag or smoke detector. This is where the product that rolled off the production line did not match the blue prints.
- Inadequate or Missing Warning or Instructions – A product that is not properly labeled or that is missing important instructions about how to use the product may result in the manufacturer being held liable. Failure to warn the consumer about potential hazards or include recommendations for correct usage of a product can lead to serious or catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death. This can include failure to warn against foreseeable misuse.
What is Considered a Defective Product?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers a list of recalled products, news releases and safety education materials to keep consumers well informed about various products that are found to be defective and cause safety hazards. Consumers should be aware of all the resources available to help them if they are seriously injured or lose someone to a wrongful death due to a defective product. However, such recalls do not replace California’s product liability and safety laws. Such laws are often more expansive than recall lists.
What are the California Product Liability Laws?
California has many product liability laws to be aware of if you’ve been injured by a product, but here are a few key points to remember:
- Generally, you have two years to bring a claim against a company after your injury occurred.
- You can only recover for the amount you were not at fault. For example: if a gas grill ignites and burns you and your bills are $10,000 and your pain and suffering is found to be $500,000, but you were found to be 50% at fault, then you can only recover $5,000 from the company for the bills and $250,000 for the pain and suffering.
- You also have to have a basis for liability. In California, as described before, there are three general categories: defective design; manufacturing defect; and lack of adequate warnings.
How do I Recover Compensation for Product Liability Injuries?
In order to recover compensation under a product liability claim, you must show the company was liable for at least a portion of your damages. In order to do that, your Southern California Personal Injury Lawyers will show that you were injured and that injury was directly caused by a defective product.
Should my Product Liability Claim be a Class Action Lawsuit?
Like many answers in law, it depends. If you or your attorney are aware of other similar injuries caused by the product, then it might be worth exploring a class action. But if your injuries are unique, then a class action is not the right path to choose. Your Southern California Class Action attorneys can help you decide whether a class action is right for your injuries.
Who Can be Held Liable for a Defective Product Injury?
Generally, the company who manufactured the product can be held liable for an injury caused by a product they made. The company that created the product is in the best position to understand the uses of their product and any potential dangers that could result. But in California, everyone in the chain of distribution is also liable. That includes, for example, the retailer of the product and the distributor. This becomes increasingly important when the product at issue is made overseas.
Standing Up to Defective Product Manufacturers
If any of these situations apply to you and if you have any additional questions about your injuries, you need to contact the experienced team of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP today. Your success depends on many different factors including the team of lawyers you choose. Contact us today to discuss your product liability claim and get yourself on the path to recovery.
Our product liability lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas are known for our resources and experience to go up against large manufacturers and companies when they fail to protect the consumer from faulty, defective or inadequate products. There are state and federal guidelines that set the standards these companies must follow, and when manufacturers and large industries fail to comply with product safety regulations, they need to be held accountable.
A consumer should never suffer for purchasing and using a product that was advertised to improve their quality of life, but instead caused serious injuries or even death.