Product liability is an area of the law that involves manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers and others who make or sell products being held liable for any harm those products cause to consumers. In some cases, injuries caused by consumer products are the result of user error, rather than a product defect. But there are many products on the market that are defective or faulty and therefore pose an inherent risk to consumers who use them. If you have been injured by a consumer product and you believe your injuries were caused by a problem with the product design, manufacture or marketing, contact our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for the medical bills you incurred and the pain and suffering you endured as a result of your injuries, among other damages, and our legal team can help you through the claims process.
What Does Product Liability Mean?
Think about the products you use on a daily basis. You expect those products to perform in a certain way without putting you or your loved ones at risk for injury or illness. Unfortunately, many products currently on the market in the United States contain defects in the way they are designed, manufactured or sold, and these defects can pose serious risks for consumers. Defective or dangerous products cause thousands of consumer injuries every year in the United States, and many injured consumers are never fairly compensated for their injuries. Fortunately, there is an area of the law that deals specifically with defective consumer products and holding manufacturers and others accountable for the safety of the products they produce and sell. Product liability laws provide victims who suffer injuries from dangerous or defective products with legal recourse for the injuries they sustain.
Types of Product Liability Claims
The law requires that any consumer product made available for purchase meets the ordinary expectations of the consumer, meaning the product works as expected without posing any unexpected risk of injury or harm. When a product contains an unexpected defect or dangerous condition, the company that designed, manufactured or sold the product may be at fault for any injuries that occur as a result of the flaw. Product liability claims fall under state law, so if you have suffered harm from a defective product in California and you decide to file a claim, you’ll want to find an attorney with experience handling product liability claims in California. There are three main types of product liability claims that can arise from consumer harm caused by a defective product: defective design, defective manufacturing and defective marketing.
A design defect is a problem that affects the very design of the product and exists before the product is manufactured. If a consumer product is designed poorly or is not properly tested before being put into the hands of consumers, all of the products with that design will likely end up being defective and dangerous. For example, if a particular model of motor vehicle has a tendency to flip over while rounding a corner, that vehicle may be defectively designed. If you or a family member suffers injuries in a rollover accident and it is determined that the accident occurred because of poor vehicle design, the auto company that designed the vehicle may be liable for your injuries.
If a problem with the manufacturing process creates a dangerous defect that causes consumer harm, the manufacturing company may be held liable for the resulting injuries and losses. Unlike a design defect, the problem may only affect certain products, rather than all of them. An example of a defect in manufacturing would be a motorcycle that has missing or faulty brake pads. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you can show that the accident was caused by the missing or defective brake pads, you may be able to file a claim against the company that manufactured the motorcycle or the brake pads.
Marketing Defect (Failure to Warn)
Marketing defects involve flaws in the way a product is marketed. Consumer products are expected to include adequate instructions about how to safely use the product as well as warnings about any potential risks or side effects that the consumer might need when using the product. A marketing defect may occur if the manufacturer fails to provide proper instructions or warnings and an injury or occurs as a result of this failure to warn. Examples of marketing defects include improper labeling, inadequate safety warnings or incomplete instructions.
Pursuing Compensation for Defective Product Injuries
Any consumer injured by a defective product has the right to file a claim against the company responsible for designing, manufacturing or selling the product on the grounds of product liability. This may include the product manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, the person or party that assembles or installs the product, the wholesaler or the retail store that sold the product. By filing a product liability claim against the responsible party (or parties), you can not only seek compensation for your own injuries, you can also help protect other consumers from harm. Product liability lawsuits bring public attention to dangerous or defective products and require the companies that design, manufacture and sell these products to maintain certain safety standards and take better care in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of their products.
Our Product Liability Attorneys Can Help
Product liability cases can be complex, because they require injured consumers to show that the harm they suffered occurred as a direct result of the product’s defective design, manufacture or marketing and not because of some other factor, such as improper use or user error. In order to get the most out of your defective product claim, you may wish to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in product liability law in California. If you or a loved one suffered harm because of a defective product, contact our firm today to speak to one of our knowledgeable product liability attorneys. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses and we can help you determine what your defective product claim is worth.