How Does Product Liability Work in California?

Product liability can be a complex field to navigate, particularly for those who have been injured by a defective product and are seeking compensation. In California, the law offers specific protections and avenues for recourse. Our attorneys at the Law Office of Scott Righthand, P.C. are here to break down the essentials of product liability in the Golden State, providing a clear understanding of what to expect and how an attorney can help you navigate through this challenging process.

The Basics of Product Liability

California product liability law holds those who design, manufacture, or sell a defective product strictly liable for injuries caused by that product, regardless of whether negligence played a part in causing the injury. Three types of product defects can result in strict liability: manufacturing defects, design defects, and “warning defects,” which refer to inadequate warnings about potential dangers. When a person is injured by a product, it may be possible to file a claim against the party that is deemed negligent in relation to the product.

Elements of a Product Liability Claim

A successful product liability claim in California requires proof of four key elements:

  1. The defendant designed, manufactured, distributed, or sold a defective product,
  2. The product contained the defect when it left the defendant’s possession,
  3. The product was used in a reasonably foreseeable manner, and
  4. The user suffered harm as a result of the defect.

Understanding these elements is crucial, as they form the basis of your claim.

Strict Liability Explained

Strict liability is a legal concept that places responsibility on a party regardless of their intent or negligence. Under California law, if a product is more dangerous than it should be or contains inadequate warnings, whoever designs, makes, or sells the defective product is strictly liable for any injuries that result from its use in a reasonably foreseeable way.

Reasonably Foreseeable Use

California law stipulates that manufacturers must anticipate how the average consumer will use — and possibly misuse — a product. If a consumer uses or misuses a product in a reasonably foreseeable way and gets injured, the defendant(s) will be held strictly liable. However, this does not mean that manufacturers must eliminate all potential dangers. Rather, they must take reasonable precautions to minimize harm.

Defenses Against Product Liability Claims

Defendants in product liability lawsuits can employ several defenses, including asserting that they did not design, manufacture, distribute, or sell the product, or that the product was not defective at the time it left their possession. They may also argue that the plaintiff used the product in an unforeseeable way, or that something else caused the injuries. Understanding these potential defenses can help prepare you for what lies ahead in your claim.

Contact Our Attorneys to Set Up a Consultation

Understanding how product liability works in California is crucial if you have been injured by a defective product. With the right legal guidance, you can navigate this complex process and seek fair and full compensation for your injuries. Remember, you do not have to face this alone. Contact the Law Office of Scott Righthand, P.C. today, and let us help you on your journey towards justice.

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Date Of Posting

13 February,2024

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