Riverside Product Liability Attorney
What do cups of hot coffee, gas cans, Remington rifles, balancing balls, silicone breast implants, and automotive airbags have in common? While it may sound like a riddle, the answer isn’t waiting in the pages of a joke book. Instead, it will be found in court records from across the United States. These products have all been at the heart of successful product liability lawsuits. What is product liability? Why should you reach out to an experienced Riverside, California, product liability attorney if you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective product?
Defining Product Liability
In the United States, manufacturers and sellers have a legal responsibility to the consumers who purchase and use their products. That’s where the concept of product liability comes in to play. If a person is harmed physically or economically because a product was wrongly designed, made, or marketed, then they may choose to file a product liability lawsuit in an attempt to prove the liability of responsible parties and secure compensation from them. While there is no federal product liability legislation, California and other states have stepped in to protect consumers with their laws.
Types of Product Liability
Believing that the use of a product caused harm isn’t enough to win a lawsuit. Successful plaintiffs must build a solid legal case. In California, there are two legal theories that can be used as the foundation for a product liability case: negligence or strict liability.
Negligence is any action or inaction that sets the stage for a company’s failure to meet its legal duty of care. A lawsuit based on negligence must offer convincing evidence that a company was negligent in its design, creation, or manufacture of the product that caused harm. This negligence might take the form of poor employee training, inadequate manufacturing regulations, shoddy safety protocols, improper material sourcing, or any similar failure that ultimately results in a defective product landing in the hands of consumers.
With a strict liability suit, the focus is on a defect in the product. There’s no need to show negligence on behalf of the company if you can prove that a product that caused injury or damage has one of the following types of defects:
- Design defects. Flaws in an item’s design, design defects make a product inherently unsafe. A product that catches fire when left in the sun or places an infant in a position that increases the danger of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome may have a design flaw.
- Manufacturing defects. If mistakes occur during the manufacture or assembly process that makes an item that is otherwise safe hazardous, the result is a manufacturing defect. Imagine a car seat that is missing a crucial fastener, a laptop bag that is sent to stores with unfinished seams, or medical equipment that lacks needed sensors. If these items caused harm or property damage, it might be deemed the result of a manufacturing defect.
- Marketing defects. Marketing defects are communication failures that occur when a company doesn’t accurately inform consumers about a product. Mislabeling, not including proper instructions, or failing to provide clear safety warnings that alert customers to a hazard that the company was either aware of or should have been aware of are examples of marketing defects.
Are You a Victim of a Defective Product?
If you purchased a defective product and were injured or suffered property damages because the product failed to perform in a manner that a reasonable person would expect, then you have the option of filing a lawsuit to seek compensation. However, you do not have to be the person who bought the product to have a product liability claim. Anyone who could have foreseeably been injured by a defective product can seek compensation. That means victims who were gifted a product or even those who were simply bystanders to its use when they suffered an injury may have a claim.
The injuries caused by a defective product can vary widely. There could be physical injuries like burns, broken bones, sprains, contusions, traumatic brain injuries, or even deaths. Property damage is also a possibility. In some cases, the damage may be the loss in the expected value of a product that is revealed to be defective.
Who Is Responsible?
Who might be held liable in a product liability case? Any organization that is part of the product’s supply chain might be held responsible. Therefore, an injured person may decide to pursue any of the following:
- The retailer that sold the item to the consumer.
- The company that provided installation services.
- The company that provided assembly services.
- The wholesaler of the product.
- The manufacturer of the product.
- A manufacturer who produces component parts of the product.
How a Product Liability Lawyer Can Help
A Riverside product liability lawyer can be an invaluable ally if you have suffered harm as a result of a defective or negligently made product. As legal professionals, they have the experience and resources needs to assess your case, determine which legal theory you should proceed under, and help you gather the necessary evidence to build a solid case. An attorney can also identify any parties that might be held liable and advise you with regards to what types of damages you might pursue. Potential damages in product liability cases can include economic damages like compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, or property damages. You might also receive compensation for non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Are you in need of a skilled Riverside product liability attorney? Turn to the hardworking and award-winning legal team at Rizio Lipinsky. We’ve spent decades protecting the rights of the people of California. During that time, we’ve built a reputation as aggressive advocates and successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for victims. How can we help you? To find out, contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation.