Who’s Responsible If You're Injured While Using a Product?
It’s natural to trust the products that you use and believe that they will be safe. After all, they must have gone through rigorous safety testing before they were manufactured. Unfortunately, sometimes safety testing doesn’t catch everything. Even after successfully passing tests, some items will still be produced with flaws. These flaws lead to defective products that could injure you.
You don’t have to suffer alone, both physically and financially, after a defective product injures you. Instead, you can work with an experienced product liability attorney to understand your rights.
At the Winter Law Group, we value strong relationships with our clients. We prioritize keeping you informed throughout each step of the legal process during your consumer injury case. Our firm proudly represents clients in Fresno, California, as well as Clovis, Visalia, Madera County, and Merced County.
The law defines “product liability” as the responsibility of the manufacturer, retailer, or seller of a product to provide a safe product and to be held responsible if they provide a defective product. Speak with an experienced product liability attorney to learn more about how the law applies in your case.
Who Is Responsible for Product Defects?
It is important to hold the party who caused the injury responsible for their actions. So, who is liable for an injury caused by a product? Answering this question depends on the facts of each specific case. There are several different parties who could potentially be held liable.
The manufacturer has a duty to produce a safe product for the end user (you). For example, if the design of the product was defective, then it is the manufacturer who should be held liable. Additionally, if the product was supposed to perform one way, but it did not, then that could be attributed to the manufacturer.
Additionally, the manufacturer has a duty to warn users and provide guidance (typically instructions) regarding the product. If the manufacturer fails in that duty, it may be possible to hold them liable.
Liability of Nonmanufacturer Seller
If you were injured by a defective product, you may be able to sue not only the manufacturer, but the seller (such as the distributor or retailer) as well. This is because it may be impossible to prove whether it was the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer’s fault that the product was defective. When this is the case, you (the consumer) have the option to hold all parties responsible.
Product liability differs from other types of personal injury cases because of strict liability. In strict liability cases, it does not matter if the manufacturer or distributor did not intend or knowingly produce a defective product. They can still be held liable because the result, an injury, was the same. The manufacturer or distributor’s state of mind does not affect whether they can be held liable.
Filing a Claim
To seek compensation for your injuries caused by a defective product, consult a product liability attorney about filing a personal injury claim. There are several key elements that you must prove when filing a claim for your consumer injury. It must be proven that:
The product was unchanged from the original manufactured product.
The product was defective.
That defect caused the product to be dangerous.
The defect caused the injury.
The statute of limitations is the deadline after which you no longer have the opportunity to file a case. For product liability cases, the statute of limitations in California is one year after the date of the injury. After one year has passed, you will no longer be able to file the claim.
Damages is the term used to describe the financial compensation you may receive for the damages you suffered due to your injury. Possible damages for a personal injury case may include compensation for medical bills, lost income due to missing time at work, and pain and suffering caused by the injury.
Legal Advocacy You Can Trust
Manufacturers and distributors have a duty to provide safe products. If you were injured by a defective product, know that you have legal options. Our firm, the Winter Law Group, aims to help people who have experienced an injury due to a defective product. We work to help people in difficult situations overcome their challenges. The Winter Law Group proudly represents clients in Fresno, California, as well as Clovis, Visalia, Madera County, and Merced County. Contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation.