Frequently Asked Questions About Product Liability Lawsuits
When consumers buy products, they are putting trust in the companies that make those products. Products that are ineffective or do not work the way they are supposed to put consumers at risk. Unfortunately, defective products cause thousands of injuries every year in the United States. The legal rules regarding who should be held responsible for defective or malfunctioning products is known as "product liability law." Product liability claims are based on state laws, and through a product liability lawsuit, a person who is injured by a defective product can recover financial compensation for their injury.
- Who Can be Held Responsible for Injuries?
- What Do I Need to Prove?
- How Long After an Injury Can I File?
- Where Can I Turn for Help?
Who Can be Held Responsible for Injuries?
There are several parties who can be legally liable for faulty products. The manufacturers and sellers who are responsible for getting the product into the hands of consumers are often the focal points of a product liability case. By law, a product needs to meet the reasonable expectations of consumers. It is reasonable for people who purchase and use products to expect those products to be safe and not cause harm.
Legal responsibility for a dangerous product’s deficiency could lie with any party in the product's chain of distribution, including:
- The manufacturer of the product;
- A manufacturer of constituent parts;
- The party who assembled the product;
- The retail store that sold the product to the consumer;
- The party who installed the product; and
- The wholesaler.
A product must be sold as a regular course of the supplier's business in order to be covered under California product liability laws. Someone who resells a product at a garage sale or flea market would most likely not be considered responsible for a product liability action.
The person bringing about a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff, must prove several things: (1) the product was defective or malfunctioning in some way, (2) the product’s flaw caused the product to be unreasonably unsafe, and (3) the defective product caused injury for which caused the injured person damages. Damages can include costs associated with medical bills, ongoing medical costs, lost wages, future lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you or your children have been injured by a defective product, do not wait to seek compensation. The amount of time an injured person has to file a personal injury lawsuit after being injured is called the statute of limitations. In California, the statute of limitations for product liability is two years.
To learn more about product liability claims or to get started on your case, contact the experienced San Jose personal injury attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. Call (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free initial consultation today.