Every day, Californians purchase millions of products. The vast majority of these products are fine and high-quality, but there is a small portion of those that can cause terrible injuries, devastating damage and even lead to fatalities.
It’s true that when you purchase something, you expect it to be perfect and without any flaws. You certainly don’t expect it to harm your health (unless, of course, you’re buying cigarettes). Generally, you never know when a defective product ends up in your shopping cart.
If you’re lucky enough, you may prevent injuries if you detect the defect or flaw before using the product. But more often than not, when people purchase defective products, it’s too late to prevent injuries, as they discover that the product is defective only after sustaining trauma.
Today, Los Angeles product liability attorney is going to explain the most confusing things about California product liability laws. Because, clearly, the last thing you would want is to have NO IDEA what do after you’ve been burned, cut, or otherwise injured by a product.
Who and when to hold liable for a defective product
First of all, be aware that you can sue multiple parties and hold them liable for your injuries. Not only the manufacturer of the product can be held responsible for your injuries and damages, but also the assembler, installer, retailer, seller, and other parties in the distribution chain.
Los Angeles Product liability lawyers at Compass Law Group P.C. explain that typically, the more parties you can name as defendants in your lawsuit, the larger the amount of financial compensation you can claim.
Second of all, don’t think that you can bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer any time you want. Under California product liability laws, the statute of limitations (the maximum allowable amount of time to file a lawsuit) for personal injury is two years and three years for personal damage.
Pure comparative fault: who’s liable?
Many Los Angeles residents tend to think that just because you were partially at fault for your injuries sustained while using a defective product, you cannot sue the manufacturer to recover at least some amount of damages.
It’s not true. Under California’s pure comparative fault doctrine, you can hold the manufacturer of the defective product (as well as other parties in the distribution chain) for their percentage of negligence. For example, if you were 70 percent at fault for an accident caused by a defective product, you can still hold the manufacturer liable for the remaining 30 percent of damages.
How can a manufacturer defend against product liability?
It would be naive to think that just because you’ve been injured by a defective product, you are guaranteed to collect compensation for your injuries and damages. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
More often than not, manufacturers will hire top-notch lawyers who will do whatever it takes to avoid responsibility and defend themselves against fault in a product liability claim.
Be aware that a California manufacturer can use two main defenses to avoid liability:
(1) Prove that you (as the consumer) did NOT use the product in a reasonably foreseeable way, or modified the product in a way that made it defective and dangerous
(2) Prove that you are a “sophisticated user” who should have been aware about the potential hazards of using the product.
Contact Los Angeles product liability lawyers at Compass Law Group, P.C. if you have more questions about California product liability laws or to find out how to make your claim more effective.
Do not attempt to sue a manufacturer for your injuries unless you’re legally represented by a skilled lawyer. Seeking legal advice is your guarantee to get compensated for your injuries and damages in a timely manner. Call attorneys at 800-602-4010 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.