Product liability laws are meant to compel retailers, distributors, and manufacturers to ensure that the released products are safe. If they fail to do this, they must bear the cost of the harm caused to innocent and powerless consumers.
But companies know too well that product liability cases can have significant financial implications on them. Thus, they aggressively try to minimize, dispute or deny fault in the harm caused to the consumer. But experienced Pasadena personal injury attorneys can assist victims in establishing fault and reaping full compensation.
Which Products Are Subject to Liability Laws in California?
Consumers can bring a lawsuit for any product made for the public to use. It won’t matter whether they are complex or simple, small or large; all products sold in the market are subject to the liability laws in California.
It can include:
- Household appliances, blenders, and coffee makers
- Furniture, electronics, and TVs
- Excavators, bulldozers, construction, or farm equipment
- Hoverboards, scooters, and bicycles
- Aviation devices, helicopters, and airplanes
- Robotic machinery and commercial conveyors
- Punch presses, press brakes, and metal forming equipment
- Motor vehicles, trucks, and cars
If a product causes you harm, talk to a product liability attorney in Pasadena, CA, who can examine your case, build it up, and pursue compensation.
What Damages Can One Get After Liability is Established?
Product liability laws were enacted to protect you from unreasonable risks of harm. Manufacturers and other people involved in marketing and creating a product can be held accountable for their defective products. They might be compelled to pay for:
- Future damages
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Other non-economic and economic damages
The specific type of damage that you can receive usually depends on how your body reacts to the defective product or the extent of damage caused. Your personal injury attorney in Los Angeles County will need to examine your medical records and review how other aspects of your life were affected.
How is Fault Determined Under Strict Liability?
This approach focuses on the condition of the product. The manufacturer’s conduct or knowledge might not matter in this approach. To identify the defect in this approach, you can use tests that apply to the situation.
The Risk-Benefit Test
The risk-benefit test answers the question of, does the risk of danger in the design outweighs the benefits from the design? This approach would consider:
- The magnitude of the danger posed by the design
- The likelihood that the danger would occur
- The mechanical feasibility of a safer design
- The financial cost of improving the design
- The impact of the design on consumers and the product itself
The Consumer Expectations Test
This test answers the question of, does the product fail to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect, even when used in a reasonably foreseeable or intended manner?
How is Negligence Used to Determine Product Liability?
Apart from focusing on the product itself, consumers can use the manufacturer’s conduct as a basis of a liability lawsuit. It focuses on the reasonability of the manufacturer in designing the product. In defense, manufacturers are sometimes allowed to compare the issue with the products of their competitors.
The comparison shows that the industry’s customs and practices don’t include the safety design or measures raised by the complainants. However, some juries have excluded the industry custom evidence on the basis of it not being relevant to the issue of product safety.
Does Comparative Negligence Apply to Product liability in California?
Defendants of product liability lawsuits have a right to defend themselves before a jury. In their defense, they might claim that you modified, misused, or negligently used the product. And if the court considers their argument to be significant to the accident, they might uphold it.
The damages you receive if you are partly at fault will be reduced by your percentage of fault. You will not lose the entire amount simply because you are partly to blame. A Pasadena product liability lawyer can enlighten you further on how comparative negligence works and defend you against it.
Can I Sue Several Parties in California?
After listening to the details of a product liability case, the jury can apportion fault among multiple parties. They could pay in percentages of their fault to make up the 100% damages.
In “joint and several liabilities,” you can recover the full amount from any defendant. After that, the several defendants can sue each other to contribute to the amount paid to the consumer. However, this only applies to economic damages.
Non-economic damages in joint and several liabilities need to be collected from individual defendants.
Is There a Time Limit for California Product Liability Cases?
Similar to most other personal injury lawsuits, time limitations exist for product liability cases. You have two years from the date you discover that a product has injured, cut, or burnt you to file a tort. A Pasadena product liability lawyer can tell you how much time you have left and help you file on time.
If the product put a hole in your wall, caused your house to catch fire, or caused any other damage to your property, you have three years from discovery to file. The statute of repose is also available in California, but it only applies if the product improves real property.
Legal Professionals Ready and Willing to Fight For Your Rights
The dangers caused by defective products are not so outright like a rifle that can shoot your eye out. Consumers mostly find out the defects in a product when they have been injured or when a regulatory agency or manufacturer recalls them.
Our reputable personal injury law firm understands how you and your family rely on full compensation to sort past, current, and future expenses. We will not allow companies that care more about their profits to win in their defenses. Book a case evaluation with us to discuss your injuries in detail.