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California Product Defect Attorneys

Put Years of Experience in Your Corner

Consumers have the right to expect a reasonable level of safety and performance out of any product. As such, if damage to personal property or an injury results from the careful and proper use of a product, it may be that the manufacturer, distributor, or even retailer who supplied the product is responsible for the damage caused.

There are multiple factors that determine whether a claim can be established, but most product defect cases fall into one of the following categories. With an experienced product defect attorney in Los Angeles, you have the opportunity to recover the compensation you deserve.

We handle cases involving the following:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects
  • Lack of warnings/instructions

Manufacturing Defects

A manufacturing defect is established if the product that caused the injury is different from the majority of other products available from the maker. This usually means only one or a select few of the items were negatively impacted. Hence, manufacturing defect claims are one of the more common product liability claims.

Some examples of this include a medicine accidentally tainted with a harmful substance, an improperly installed or missing brake system in a motor vehicle, or a defect in a chain link fence causing it to be dangerously weakened and break, resulting in property damage or injury. As leading Los Angeles product defect lawyers with detailed experience dealing with such cases, we think it’s important you know the early signs and symptoms of product defects.

Design Defects

A design defect claim is less common, but more far-reaching than a manufacturing defect claim. Defectively designed products are flawed from their inception, which means multiple items on the market could pose a danger to buyers. It also means there is a wider variety of parties who may be responsible for any damage caused.

For example, design professionals, product testers, and the company who commissioned the creation of the product may each be held accountable for a product with a dangerous design. These suits are usually levied against defendants by multiple claimants or affected individuals, often resulting in both a recall and financial restitution. Two examples of this type of defect include a car prone to rolling over or an electric blanket that shorts out, resulting in electrical shock or burns.

Lack of Adequate Instruction or Warning

Many products can be potentially harmful if not used correctly. Therefore, it is the duty of the manufacturer to supply each buyer with the information they need to shield themselves from injury by incorrectly using the item. For these claims to apply, the product must be dangerous in a way a reasonable person would not detect. Injuries or damages must also directly result from the preventable misuse of the product due to a lack of sufficient information.

This means if a product is missing instruction or warning labels, but no injury or damage occurs, compensation may not be sought. It might be possible, however, to inform the company of the defect, thereby preventing future users from sustaining an injury.

We can investigate your incident to determine what third parties were instrumental in causing your injuries through their negligence.

Establishing a Claim

In order to establish a claim, you must show that:

  • You suffered losses or injury. As previously mentioned, there must have been injury or damage sustained for a claim to be liable. The potential for injury will not bring sufficient cause for a settlement, and therefore is not enough to levy a claim.
  • A defect was the cause. If an injury or damage occurred, the defect or failure to provide proper instruction must have been the direct cause.
  • The product was being correctly used. It must also be established that, at the time an injury or damage occurred, the product was being used exactly as specified. Failure to use a product as directed always carries the risk of sustaining an injury, which makes proving fault on the part of the product a very difficult task. For this reason, it is important to make sure you can establish the injury was not a result of user error.

Who Is Held Liable in Product Defect Lawsuits?

Many parties in the chain of distribution can be held liable for defective or harmful products, including designers, manufacturers, distributors, importers, wholesalers, and retailers.

Product defect lawsuits may affect these parties if they’re found responsible for a product that caused harm, depending on which stage of the manufacturing chain the defect occurred in. For example, a manufacturing factory may be responsible for a harmful product defect due to a production error. Assuming the engineer for this product provided a safe design according to relevant regulations or other standards, they likely wouldn’t be held liable for the product defect.

Negligence vs. Strict Liability

Negligence and strict liability lawsuits are both legal paths through which to recover compensation for product defects, but they work in different ways.

Negligence lawsuits allow plaintiffs to seek damages for harm or injury resulting from the reckless or careless actions of the defendant, such as a manufacturer or distributor. The plaintiff must provide evidence that the defendant violated a law or regulation that protects the plaintiff, otherwise known as a breach of duty of care. These actions must have been a cause that resulted in harm or injury to the plaintiff. For instance, a plaintiff driving a vehicle with a faulty airbag design may seek damages from the automotive company if the airbags didn’t protect them as intended during an accident.

Strict liability doesn’t factor in intent or negligence — defendants are liable for damages in all instances of harm. It typically applies to inherently dangerous or defective products, and the plaintiff generally only needs to prove that the product caused them harm.

Should You Join a Class Action or Individual Lawsuit?

Opting for a class action or individual lawsuit depends on your circumstances. Class action lawsuits are collectives of plaintiffs who have suffered similar damages due to the same product defect, and they can offer advantages such as lower legal costs and strength of evidence. Although they may amount to limited compensation, class action lawsuits typically benefit individuals with relatively small damages.

Individual lawsuits can carry higher legal fees, but they grant plaintiffs greater control and representation. They may benefit individuals with extensive damages or unique cases, but it’s important to partner with an experienced product liability lawyer to maximize the strength of your claim.

Contact Our Trusted Advocates for Guidance

There are many different types of injuries that can be sustained from using a defective product, with the severity ranging from mild to severe. If you or someone you know has experienced an injury while properly using a defective product, contact a product defect lawyer in Los Angeles from BD&J today. Our staff can help you assess your claim’s potential and win you the highest award possible.