San Jose Product Liabilities Attorney
As consumers in San Jose, we place an enormous amount of trust in the companies that supply us with products. Most of us never think twice before purchasing a product, taking it home, and using it. When things go wrong, it immediately becomes clear that many of these companies are fully capable of putting consumers in extremely dangerous situations. There have been countless product liability lawsuits in California over the years, and new actions are constantly being filed.
While many companies try to make sure that their products are safe for public use, others are guilty of gross negligence. These companies may have designed the products with obvious flaws. Perhaps they did not adequately test the product before putting it on the market. Maybe they included instructions that were misleading and dangerous. They might have also made certain claims about the products that were false, putting people at risk. Or worse yet, perhaps they were aware of the danger posed by certain products, and they did nothing to warn the public about these hazards. Whatever the case may be, companies guilty of this type of negligence should be held accountable.
If you have been injured by a defective product in California, it makes sense to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Team up with a law firm that has specific experience with product liability claims, such as Mary Alexander & Associates. We have dealt with many product liability claims in the past, and we can help you hold negligent companies accountable for the damages you have experienced.
Strict Liability in San Jose, California
In California, manufacturers have strict liability for damages caused by their products. This means that you do not actually need to prove that a manufacturer was reckless or negligent in any way. As long as you suffered injuries due to some kind of defect in the product, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them and recover damages.
Strict liability is relatively rare in the legal world. In most other personal injury cases, you do not enjoy this level of freedom, and you would instead be forced to prove that the defendant was negligent or reckless in some way. Thanks to this strict liability, it becomes easier to file a product liability lawsuit against negligent manufacturers. Even if they exercised all due caution in preparing and designing the product, you can still file a claim against them if you suffered an injury due to a defect.
Types of Product Liability Lawsuits in California
There are a few different types of product liability lawsuits. Depending on the exact circumstances of your injury, you will need to choose one of these options when filing your lawsuit:
- Defective Design: This involves suing a product manufacturer for designing a defective product. The actual planning process behind the product is to blame here. For example, a company might design a car with flashy rims that spin around. However, the engineers might not realize that these rims have a tendency to become dislodged and slice into nearby pedestrians.
- Defective Manufacturing: In this situation, the actual manufacturing process is to blame for the defective product. For example, a certain type of material might be heated to high temperatures during the manufacturing process, transforming its chemical structure and releasing harmful toxins in the process.
- Failure to Warn: In California, manufacturers are required by law to provide adequate warnings alongside their products. These manufacturers and sellers must anticipate any potential hazards that a consumer might encounter while using their product. Then, they must include clear warnings with the product that makes consumers aware of these dangers. This type of lawsuit may also include false or misleading advertising. For example, a car manufacturer might falsely claim that their car is bulletproof.
The Elements of a Product Liability Lawsuit in California
The core elements of a product liability lawsuit are similar to those of a normal personal injury lawsuit, but with a few notable differences:
- Who Was Responsible? The first step is to determine who was actually responsible for the defective product. This is not always an easy question to answer. As mentioned above, the defect could have arisen from the design process or the manufacturing process. In addition, third-party distributors and resellers can be liable under certain circumstances as well. In order to give yourself the best possible chance of success, it is important to file a lawsuit against the correct party.
- Was the Product Dangerous? The next step is to establish that the product was actually defective, and that those defects made the product inherently dangerous to the consumer. The keyword here is “reasonable.” You need to prove that the defect caused an “unreasonable” amount of danger – enough to clearly place the blame on the shoulders of the manufacturer or seller. As previously mentioned, the defect can arise from the manufacturing process, the design process, or through inadequate warnings.
- Was the Product Used Correctly? Companies commonly try to claim that the injury occurred because you were not using the product in a correct or “reasonable” manner. In some cases, they may have a point. For example, if you were trying to juggle three chainsaws, you clearly were not using these products in their intended manner. Another keyword is “foreseeable.” You need to have used the product in a way that could have been realistically foreseen by the manufacturer or seller.
- Were You Injured? This last element may seem relatively simple, but it can also pose issues for plaintiffs. You need to show that you actually suffered injuries as a result of the defective product. This is why it is so important to get the medical assistance you need as soon as possible. If you fail to get medical treatment, there will be no record of you ever having suffered an injury. You need a doctor who can accurately assess your injuries and highlight these issues on your medical records. You can then use these medical records as proof of your injuries in court. For example, you might suffer a broken arm due to a defective product. You could then use an X-ray as evidence of your injuries.
When is a Manufacturer Exempt From Liability?
While manufacturers and sellers are in fact strictly liable for damages suffered by their consumers, California does offer them some degree of protection. According to the state’s legislation, a product or seller is not liable under the following circumstances:
- The product is inherently unsafe, and it is widely known that this particular product is unsafe, and
- The product is a “common consumer product” for personal consumption, such as sugar, castor oil, alcohol, and butter.
Tobacco companies are generally exempt from liability if plaintiffs file suits due to illnesses related to the consumption of tobacco products. Third-party distributors of tobacco products are also exempt from liability.
Get Help from a Qualified San Jose Products Liability Attorney Today
If you are serious about getting an adequate settlement, reach out to Mary Alexander & Associates at your earliest convenience. Filing a lawsuit against a major company is never easy, and this is exactly why you need assistance from legitimate experts. With our help, you can recover significant compensation for your damages. These include medical expenses, missed wages, and much more.
Companies should be held accountable for their negligence, especially if they are posing a danger to the general public. With our help, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them and help ensure the safety of other innocent consumers like you. Book your consultation today, and we can guide you toward a favorable legal outcome in an efficient manner.