An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will have to deal with a multitude of claims, cases and lawsuits and one of those categories is dealing with defective product injuries. Product liability cases can be very complex for the lawyer and the person involved as there are many stages along the supply chain or distribution channel in which the product could become defective. So what should you do if you are the victim of a defective product injury?
After seeking medical treatment for your injury, it is necessary to seek the advice of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney. They will advise you as to whether or not you will have a claim to answer. Defective product liability was brought in to protect consumers by holding designers, manufacturers or suppliers accountable for any faulty goods that are passed on to the consumer. In essence there are three different areas that a retailer, designer or manufacturer can be sued for and they are negligence, strict product liability and breach of contract. Let’s take a look at these in further detail.
In a negligence claim, the designer, manufacturer or retailer must act with reasonable care in order to make sure that the product is in safe working order when the consumer has purchased the item. These guidelines are carried out by the designers and manufacturers who should set a series of tests and safety inspections. Retailers must exercise care to ensure that the customer is advised about the best conditions in which to use the product in. If any of these guidelines are not heeded then a negligence liability claim can be filed.
Strict product liability
This is something that the state of California is leading the way in and a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who understands product liability will be fully conversant with this law. In essence, strict product liability comes about when a negligence and breach of warranty claim is difficult to prove. If a product is defective enough to have caused injury to the victim and that defectiveness can be proved to exist before the manufacturer released the product, then it is possible to file a claim.
Breach of warranty
Breach of warranty is a liability which is based around contract law. When purchasing products, it is important to note that there are two types of contract or warranty. They are implied warranty and express warranty. In many cases an implied warranty is imposed on the product designers and manufacturers automatically, even when there is no actual written contract. In essence it ‘implies’ that when the product has left the factory it is fit for the purpose to which it is intended. Express warranty is the normal warranty that is fixed by law that accompanies most products. Breach of warranty is sometimes difficult to prove as many manufacturers now place disclaimers in small print on their products warranty papers.
A well versed Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will advise you that under any of these three liabilities a consumer may have cause for a claim from any of the following defects. These are manufacturing defects, failure to warn and design defects.
It is possible to file a claim for a manufacturing defect if there have been problems or mistakes with the products in the manufacturing stage. A case in point is the car giant Toyota, who had major problems with defective seatbelts. A lot of cars were recalled and this was deemed to be a manufacturing defect.
Failure to warn
This is applicable to a product that may well be safe when used in one way but inherently dangerous when used in another way. Failure to warn of this by the manufacturer, designer or retailer can result in a ‘failure to warn’ liability.
Design defects are fairly self explanatory and arise when there are problems in the design of a product. A case in point is that of the highly publicised children’s game of lawn darts. They were described by the manufacturers as a game similar to horseshoes for older children. However the darts themselves were weighted with a very sharp metal point. Three children in separate incidents were killed. It was deemed to be a manufacturing defect and the product was withdrawn from the USA and Canada.
In essence it is down to your lawyer to determine where along the supply chain the fault happened and exactly who to apportion blame. A good Los Angeles personal injury attorney will know exactly which avenue to go down in order to get the compensation that you deserve.