When you purchase a product or receive a product as a gift, you assume that the product is safe to use. If you follow the instructions, the product should perform safely. Sadly, thousands of people are injured or killed each year in unintentional accidents related to household products. Some of these accidents occur because the product had a defect that contributed to the cause of the accident.
When a defective product causes an injury or death, the manufacturer might be liable for damages. Under California’s product liability laws, a victim can file a claim against the manufacturer seeking compensation for injuries and damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Out Stockton product liability lawyers help injury victims file claims to hold manufacturers responsible for defective products.
Types of Product Liability Claims
When you file a product liability claim, you typically allege one of three causes of action — design defect, manufacturing defect, or failure to warn.
When there is a design defect or a flaw in the original design, a product can be dangerous and hazardous to use. Because the product is inherently defective, you do not need to prove that the designer or the manufacturer was negligent in causing your injury. If the design is defective under one of either two tests, California product liability laws impose strict liability, meaning negligence is not a required element to recover compensation.
The first test is the product failed to perform safely when it was used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner. The other test for a design defect is if the benefits of the design do not exceed the risk of danger that is inherent to the design.
The second category of product liability claims is a manufacturing defect. In most cases, a manufacturing defect occurs when the product is different from the original design or specification for the product. Another way a manufacturing defect occurs is when the item is different from the other products in the production line.
As in the case of design defects, the law applies strict liability for manufacturing defects. The law assumes that a manufacturer is strictly liable for any injuries caused by a product that it places on the market with the intention of the product being used without the need for the consumer to inspect the item for defects.
It is sufficient for you to prove that a manufacturing defect existed, and the defect caused your injury. You do not need to prove negligence under the theory of strict liability.
Failure to Warn
A failure to warn or inadequate warning claim alleges the manufacturer or other defendant failed to warn consumers of the potential dangers or risks associated with using the product. Failure to warn may also be used when a defendant failed to provide adequate instructions or directions for the safe use of the product.
To recover compensation for a product defect claim under a failure to warn allegation, you must prove:
- The defendant was responsible for manufacturing, distributing, and selling the product;
- The defendant knew or should have known the product had potential risks;
- When a consumer used the product as intended or in a foreseeable manner, the risk posed a substantial danger;
- An ordinary person would not have anticipated the risks;
- There was not an adequate warning of the potential risks; and,
- Because of the lack of warning, you were injured.
Hiring a Stockton Product Liability Attorney
It can be difficult to prove the elements required for the various product liability claims. In many cases, expert witnesses are required to analyze the product to determine the cause of the defect. Our Stockton product liability attorneys under the challenges of a product liability case. We understand what is required to investigate and prove a defective product caused your injury.
Contact Torem & Associates by calling (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 or using the contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation.