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Product liability laws protect consumers from defective products. They hold responsible the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and other vendors for any damage(s) a consumer sustains while using a defective product. If the damages result in death of the consumer, the family of the deceased is entitled to file a claim.
You should never try to represent yourself in product defect cases or deal directly with the companies involved. In fact, if you or a family member is injured by a defective product, you could hurt your case by communicating with the companies involved in putting that product on the market and/or their attorneys. As soon as you possibly can, it is best to retain an attorney and let them deal with the company.
If at all possible, always keep in your possession the product that injured you and do not alter it after the injury. By all means, don’t give it to the company that put it on the market even if they specifically ask for it. You do not want the product tampered with in any way as this is a key piece of evidence. Your attorney will want to lock down this evidence as soon as possible.
Products may be defective in a number of ways. They may be defective in how they are designed and/or in how they are manufactured. If the product is mislabeled, misrepresented, or the instructions are not clear, the product may be deemed defective as well. These are all examples of what is called a marketing defect. If the product does not disclose all the potential risks of using that product and/or the potential risks if the product is not used as intended, the product may also be deemed defective, depending on the circumstances. Again, you need an experienced product defect attorney to sort through these matters and develop the best strategy for your case.
In an effort to make more profit, many companies cut corners that end up causing damage(s) to the consumer. They may use inferior materials. They may not spend enough time designing the product and/or testing their prototypes to ensure the product will not harm consumers. Companies may also be in such a big hurry to get a product to market, they gloss over details they should have given more attention. For example, they may want to get a product to market for the holiday shopping season or before a key competitor releases their product, and in their haste, they may not have tested the product as carefully as they should have. They also may not have taken due diligence in how the instructions are written, resulting in damages to consumers.
In some product defect liability cases, the responsibility may be shared with more than one party. In fact, in some cases, the consumer himself or herself may share the responsibility. For example, if your child is injured in a defective car seat, you may not have fastened it in entirely correctly. However, the manufacturer and other entities are also partially to blame so you can still bring a product defect liability law suit even if you are partially to blame as well. Cases of shared responsibility may seem more complex but a good personal injury attorney with product defect liability experience can sort through these seemingly complex cases with relative ease, another good reason to turn the matter over an attorney.
Companies and individuals can be held liable for damages if they are found to be negligent. However, negligence can sometimes be difficult to prove, at least to the standard the law requires. For example, even if a product is obviously inferior, a company may claim it was not negligent because it used the same industry standards that other companies manufacturing similar products use.
However, even if a company cannot be found negligent, strict liability laws may come into play. A company can be found to be strictly liable even if a company was not negligent if the product is indeed defective and causes damages. In this way, companies cannot hide behind the claim they used industry standards or didn’t know about a potential problem. California was the first state to enact strict liability laws and continues to be strong in this area of product liability.
If you have been injured by a defective product in California, you will need a California product defect liability law firm with good experience in this specific area of the law representing you. The May Firm has years of experience in these types of cases. Please contact us at (805) 980-7758 to set up a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and give you an honest assessment of how strong your product defect case is and how we are able to assist you.
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