Product Liability Lawyer
Product Liability Attorney Santa Rosa CA
If you have suffered an injury or have suffered a monetary loss because of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. Call product liability attorney Johann Hall today to discuss the facts of your case and determine if you may be eligible for compensation.
Statute of Limitations
In California, there are two main statutes of limitations that apply in product liability cases. There is a two-year statute of limitations for a personal injury, while there is a three-year statute of limitations for property damage. Because of these time restrictions, it is very important to speak with an attorney right away so that you don’t miss your opportunity to file your case.
Many types of personal injury accidents in California require a finding of negligence. In product liability cases, you may not have to show that the other party was negligent, since many of these types of cases fall within strict liability. Under strict liability, if you have been injured and the other party’s conduct caused your injury, then whether the other party was injured or not, they will be found liable for your injuries.
The reasoning behind implementing strict liability in most product liability cases is because this is intended to equalize the significant financial and legal resources large companies have when compared to the average injured plaintiff.
Pure Comparative Fault
The state of California uses the pure comparative fault standard. This means that if the plaintiff shares in some fault, his or her recovery will be reduced by the percentage of their fault that contributed to the accident. For example, under the Pure Comparative Fault Doctrine, a plaintiff who was injured by a product would have her recovery reduced from $10,000 down to $8,000 if she was found to be 20% at fault for the accident in which she was injured.
The Economic Loss Rule
California follows the economic loss rule. This means that a party who suffers economic harm only may recover damages for that harm based only on a contractual claim and not on a tort theory, such as strict liability or negligence.
There are three main types of product liability cases. The first is a defective design. A product can be found to have a defective design when there was a foreseeable risk posed by the product when it was used for its intended purposes and manufactured as intended.
In California, the courts use two different tests to determine liability in defective design cases. The first test is the risk/benefit test. If there are technical issues to be considered regarding the feasibility of a design, like cost, risk, practicability, and benefit, then the court must use the risk/benefit test. The court will find that a product fails this test if the risk of danger inherent in the design ends up outweighing the benefits of the design.
The other test used is called the consumer expectations test. This test is used only when the court does not need expert witness testimony to demonstrate that the product failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect it to when the product is used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner.
Another type of product liability case is a manufacturing defect. You can bring a claim for injuries caused by a defectively manufactured product that departs from its intended design. This type of claim is a strict liability claim.
Lack of Adequate Warning or Instructions
Even when a product was manufactured perfectly and designed safely, it can still be a dangerous product that can cause injury. A manufacturer has an obligation to adequately warn you of any known dangers of a product. If you have been injured as a result of using a product that you believe may have a design defect, manufacturing defect, or a lack of adequate warning, contact product liability attorney Johann Hall to discuss your potential case.