What Should I Do If I Get Injured by a Dangerous Product?
You encounter thousands of different products in the average day. For the most part, these products perform as they should, with no problems or malfunctions that cause serious injuries. Sometimes, however, products contain defects that render them more likely to injure, maim, and even kill consumers. If you were injured by a dangerous product in Southern California, find out how to stand up for your legal rights with help from a product liability lawyer.
What is a Defective Product?
A defective product is an item that contains an issue with its design, assembly or instructions that make it unreasonably dangerous for consumers to use. Any type of product sold to consumers, clients, or patients could contain a defect that ultimately causes injuries. Common examples of defective products include:
- ATVs, motorcycles and bicycles
- Auto parts
- Children’s toys
- Household appliances
- Medical devices and implants
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Playground equipment
If a defective product causes a consumer injury, the victim may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit against one or more parties in pursuit of financial compensation. Throughout the U.S., product liability lawsuits and mass tort actions have been brought against hundreds of defective items.
Types of Product Defects That Occur
Manufacturing companies are responsible for the safety of their products. They must take reasonable measures to ensure their products are built and designed correctly. Failing to take the appropriate precautions can lead to one of three types of product defects:
- Design defect. A design defect is a flaw in the design of a product, even before the item is manufactured, that makes it more likely to injure consumers.
- Manufacturing defect. A manufacturing defect is a safety issue with the product due to a mistake during the item’s creation, manufacture or assembly.
- Marketing defect. A marketing defect is a safety issue that exists in how a product is marketed, including problems with the item’s labels, packaging and warnings.
Any type of product defect can compromise the safety and usability of a product. If a product that contains a defect causes harm to a consumer, the manufacturing company or another party could be financially responsible.
Strict Liability vs. Negligence
There are two main grounds for product liability lawsuits: strict liability and negligence. The strict liability doctrine is most common. Strict liability means a defendant is liable for a defective product even if the company did not cause the defect. During a strict liability claim, an injured victim does not have to prove the manufacturing company’s negligence or lack of adequate care. The only proof necessary is that the item contained a defect which caused an injury.
A product liability claim based on negligence, on the other hand, comes with a requirement to prove that the defendant was careless or violated a law and that this is what caused the injury. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers must act in a way that does not put consumers at an unreasonably high risk of injuries. If there is proof that a manufacturing company failed to fulfill its responsibilities, the company could be liable for negligence.
Get Help From a Los Angeles Product Liability Lawyer
If you get injured by a dangerous product in Los Angeles, go to a hospital right away for professional medical treatment. Keep anything related to the defective item, including its original packaging. Take photographs of the item and your injuries. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan once you are released from the hospital.
Once you are physically on the mend, get help from a Los Angeles product liability lawyer before beginning the legal process. A lawyer can explain your rights and take over the legal actions associated with your claim for the best possible results. The right attorney can help you hold a manufacturing company liable for a defective product injury.