Products that are defective cause thousands of injuries per year in the United States. A defective product is one that causes damage because of poor design, manufacturing defect, or no risk warning. Examples of product defects that involve the liability of the manufacturer or seller are missing safety features, faulty wiring, and choking hazards.
If a product defect resulted in personal injury or another form of damage, you can hold the manufacturer or seller legally accountable and claim compensatory damages under California liability law.
Your Los Angeles product liability lawyers at the law firm of Adamson Ahdoot can provide you with all the assistance and representation you need to pursue a defective products claim successfully. Read more below about product liability and how we can help you seek compensation for injuries and other damages.
What is Product Liability
Product liability refers to a product seller’s state of responsibility for making a defective product available to a consumer. According to California state law, as a plaintiff who seeks compensation for damages, the burden of proof is on you to prove product liability.
For your claim to prevail, the following four elements must be present:
Firstly, you must prove that the product was defective. There are three different types of product defect claims under California law. We will discuss these claim types in further detail below.
Secondly, you must prove that the product already had the defect while still in the defendant’s possession. If the product was no longer under the defendant’s control when it became defective, there is no liability.
Thirdly, you must have been using the product in a reasonably foreseeable manner. For example, if you fit a blade meant for wood to your circular saw and use it to cut a steel rod, you may lose control over the saw and sustain an injury. The design and construction of this type of blade are not suitable for cutting steel rods, so you did not use it in a reasonably foreseeable manner.
However, if you use the same ripping blade to make a rough cut along the grain of a wooden workpiece, you use it to the manufacturer’s specifications. In this case, a kickback that causes personal injury may be the result of a defective product.
Fourthly, you must demonstrate that you suffered an injury or other damages due to the defect. If you don’t suffer an injury, trauma, or economic loss, the defendant cannot be liable. For example, if you notice a defect before using a product, you can return it to the seller, but you cannot institute a personal injury claim.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Products have a defective design if they are not as safe to reasonably use as the ordinary consumer would expect them to be. If the risk of using the product outweighs the benefit, it can also constitute a design defect. Examples of products with design defects include top-heavy cars and heaters that are likely to catch fire.
A product with a manufacturing defect differs from the products that the manufacturer intended to produce. The error may also cause the product to differ from other seemingly identical products on the same line. Examples of manufacturing defects include using the wrong fasteners for product assembly, installing faulty product components, or backward electric circuitry installation.
According to the product liability laws in Los Angeles, manufacturers and sellers have a legal duty to provide consumers with sufficient warnings and instructions for use. For example, the packaging of a product that contains small components should contain a choking hazard warning.
Certain parties are entitled to compensatory damages in a variety of lawsuits. When it comes to product liability, these damages are the sum of money that the plaintiff claims as compensation for personal injury or losses incurred from a defective product. While compensatory damages are restorative, these funds may not be able to reverse the plaintiff’s situation, especially in the case of wrongful death or permanent injury.
You can claim two categories of damage, namely economic losses and non-economic losses. Economic losses pertain to costs, missed opportunities to grow assets, and damage to property. These damages include:
- Medical expenses and future medical expenses to treat injuries, including bills from hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and therapists
- Loss of profits or wages if injuries prevent you from working
- Cost of disability, including home care and equipment costs
- Property loss or damage
Calculating economic losses is generally straightforward. Keep all documentation such as medical bills, repair invoices, and other documentation to prove your financial losses.
Defective products can also cause non-economic losses. These losses include pain, suffering, and loss of consortium. When faulty products cause severe injuries, plaintiffs often claim compensation for these damages under the Los Angeles product liability law. In the case of wrongful death, plaintiffs may also suffer the emotional trauma of losing a loved one.
Quantifying a subjective, intangible loss can be a challenge, and product liability lawyers often look at previous liability cases to estimate the value of such a claim. To ensure that your claim for a non-economic loss is successful, seek the help of a reputable product liability lawyer Los Angeles residents know and trust.
Contact the law firm of Adamson Ahdoot at (800) 310-1606 to schedule an initial consultation.
Who is Responsible for Defect Products in California?
If a defective product results in injuries, a party in the product supply chain is usually responsible. These parties include the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. An investigation can reveal which party bears responsibility.
California Product Liability Laws
In Los Angeles, strict liability applies to this area of the law. The plaintiff’s responsibility is not to demonstrate the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff only needs to show that the products were defective and that the defect resulted in injury.
Product liability attorneys usually base defective product suits on strict liability to claim for injuries and other damages.
What to Do After Sustaining an Injury?
If a product defect caused an injury, the first step is to seek medical treatment. In some cases, untreated injuries may worsen over time.
After seeking emergency care, start gathering evidence to prove liability. Take photos of the product as well as your injury. You should also keep all medical records and bills to use as evidence. If anyone saw the incident, collect their contact information and testimony.
You should also contact your lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. Adamson Ahdoot is a firm of reputable product liability attorneys with an excellent track record in Los Angeles, California. As your lawyer, we have extensive knowledge of injury law, and we will represent your interests throughout the process.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you incurred injuries or other damages because of a defective product, we will take you through filing a successful liability claim and receive sufficient compensation for your losses.
Contact the Los Angeles product liability lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot LLP at (800) 310-1606 to schedule a free consultation.