Have you experienced the harm of purchasing products that caused your injuries? Or maybe you were prescribed some drugs that put you into trouble later. Fortunately, consumers can always find protection under product liability laws if such things occur. Product liability laws refer to situations when a manufacturer, retailer or supplier is held liable for making a defective product that is available to the public. Products subjected to liability include all consumer goods, medical devices or drugs, food, vehicles, aircraft and other goods.
There is no federal product liability law. Thus, product liability claims are based on state laws. California’s product liability laws are thought to be too consumer friendly. Under California Product Liability Laws anyone who designs sells or produces a defective product is strictly liable for the damages caused by the product, even if the company or person was not found negligent.
In California, three types of products liabilities are strictly imposed:
Manufacturing defects: A product contains a manufacturing defect if it is improperly manufactured and differs from the manufacturer’s design or specifications. Under California product liability laws, the plaintiff’s attorney does not have to prove that the manufacturer or supplier of the defective product was negligent. Rather, it will be enough to show that the defect exists and it was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Design defects: Under California product liability laws a product is considered defective if it fails to perform as safely as a consumer will expect, and the benefits of the design do not outweigh the risk of a danger. Defective design claims should involve a proof that the entire product line is actually dangerous, regardless of the fact that the harmful product has been produced in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
Warning defects or inadequate warning: California Product Liability Laws require manufacturers, distributors and sellers of products to provide proper instructions and warnings. Product manufacturers are imposed to take into consideration the ways ordinary consumers are likely to use or misuse a product, therefore, take reasonable steps to warn against misuse. When creating a warning label, a manufacturer is under two related duties: to warn consumers of hidden dangers of the product and to instruct them on how to use the product safely. The warning must be clear and specific.
If you were injured as a result of manufacturing defects, design defects or warning defects, you can sue the manufacturer, retailer or supplier of the product for medical expenses, lost wages or pain and suffering. As long as these type of lawsuits are quite complex, consulting with a product liability attorney will be in your best interests.
California Statute of Limitations for Product Liability
Injuries or damages from defective products can have either immediate impact (injuries from defective electrical products) or long-lasting impact (injuries from dangerous chemical emissions). California statutes of limitations for defective products set two different time frames for bringing legal claims. Accordingly, if you were injured or suffered harmful damages by a defective product, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer within two years of discovering that the very product caused your injury. If the defective product caused damage to your property, you can file a property damage lawsuit within three years after the discovery.
Though product defect claims are considered personal injury cases, it can be more complicated than an average personal injury case. An experienced product liability attorney can help you handle your products liability case properly and get the best outcome for you. The knowledgeable product liability attorneys at the Margarian Law firm will investigate your case and protect your rights by making sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.