How to Sue for a Defective Product in California

California Product Liability Lawyer

You’ll need to discuss your claim with a California product liability lawyer if you’ve been injured because of a design error or a product defect in an item. This personal injury claim in California will cover your injuries or the damages ensued as a result of a faulty product or component.

Speak to a California Product Liability Lawyer First

Before you do anything, schedule an appointment with a lawyer who regularly handles product liability claims. Find out more about your rights and how you can receive equitable compensation for the injuries you’ve received.

In California, you have to file a product liability claim within two years from the date of your injury, or from the date you discovered you were injured because of the product defect. It is wise then to speak to an attorney as soon as you can to ensure you receive compensation for medical costs and damages. Otherwise, you’ll forfeit your right to file a lawsuit for the costs of your care or lost earnings.

What Is a Defective Product?

Sometimes a product does not work as we intend. It may malfunction because of a design mistake or may have been damaged when it was manufactured. Any defect can be dangerous. Therefore, any lack of quality control can open up a business to getting sued.

If a product features a defect in its design, the flaw usually stems from how the product was configured for use. Therefore, every product that uses the same design will exhibit the same defect. If the manufacturer knew of the conceivable dangers in the design, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.

As noted, sometimes defects emerge during the manufacturing process. In this case, the defect may happen during assembly or processing. If this happens, it usually occurs in fewer units. To prove your case, a California liability product lawyer must show that the product was already defective when it was shipped from the factory. 

Types of Product Liability Cases

A product liability case may take one of three forms. 

Suing for Negligence

In the case of negligence, the lawyer must show that the design was carelessly configured, which led to an injury. A company owes its customers a duty to sell safe products. Therefore, selling a defectively designed product is a breach of this obligation.

Strict Liability Cases

In strict liability cases, the plaintiff must prove that there was, indeed, a defect, which directly caused an injury. If the defect exists, the manufacturer must pay for the damages. It does not matter if they were careful about the process, they still owe the money for the claim. 

However, this type of claim does not apply to a secondhand purchase. To receive compensation, the buyer must purchase the product in accordance with the chain of distribution.

Breaches of Warranty – Expressed and Implied

A breach of warranty may cover a warranty that is either expressed or implied. An express warranty covers the way a retailer or manufacturer represents an item for sale. On the other hand, an implied warranty comes with the implication that a product, when used as intended, will not cause the user harm. 

Class Action Lawsuits

In some cases, a California product liability lawyer will set up a class action lawsuit if a large number of claimants are filing the same claim, or have been injured in the same way. 

Individual Claims

If the injury is severe or unique, the filing of an individual claim is more appropriate.

How to Successfully File a Claim

To be successful in filing a defective product lawsuit in California, the plaintiff must show they experienced an injury or monetary loss because of a defective product they purchased and used. 

He or she must also show they used the product correctly. When you retain the services of a skilled California product liability lawyer, he or she can prove the above criteria so you can receive the maximum value for your claim.

Average Settlements

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), most personal injury claims for product defects are settled out of court with the courts awarding average settlements of $95,000 (in 2018). Many of the claims made have to do with children’s products.

What Damages Can You Recover?

Because a medical condition or physical injury can notably affect the way you live your life, receiving compensation for a defective product claim may involve the following damages:

  • Lost wages from missed work 
  • The loss of the means to make a living
  • Current and ongoing medical costs, including hospital stays, prescription medicines, and rehab
  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
  • Punitive damages to discourage a business from selling unsafe products in the future

What you receive in compensation will depend on the type of defect and the extent and severity of your injuries. Naturally, you’ll receive more money if you were severely hurt or suffered a permanent disability or impairment.

Product Defects in the Consumer Marketplace

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), many of the product defects seen in 2020 were found among nursery-related items, such as cribs, mattresses, and infant carriers. Playpens also were included among the hazards. 

Toy-related hazards in 2020 often resulted in contusions, abrasions, or lacerations. Some children died from asphyxiation. Product defects often cause companies to recall toys, autos, and food. Therefore, the services of a California product liability attorney are important to your success in receiving compensation for a product defect injury or death.

California Product Liability Lawyer

Contact a Belal Hamideh Law Firm for Further Information

If you feel you have a valid claim for an injury suffered from a product defect, you’ll need to discuss your case first with a California product liability lawyer. Don’t delay taking action, as you only have two years to file a lawsuit. Contact Belal Hamideh law now at (562) 526-1224 for further details.