As consumers, we purchase products with the belief that whoever made them for our use did so with our safety and well being in mind. Even if that is the case, sometimes mistakes occur and our safety becomes compromised. If you have been injured by a defective product and suffered an injury as a result, you may file a products liability lawsuit and seek monetary damages against the seller, manufacturer, and designer. In California, products liability is considered a “strict liability” tort. This means that you, as the consumer, do not need to prove intentional fault by the manufacturer, seller, or designer.
A product may be considered dangerous in one of three ways:
1) A design defect is present if the product has a flaw in its design and every product manufactured is defective as a result. The product is defective if the design creates a risk of harm and an alternative, safer design is available.
2) A manufacturing defect is present when the product is safely designed but becomes dangerous due to the manufacturer’s failure to make the product according to the design specifications or plans.
3) Failure to warn or inadequate warnings result when there is some hidden danger to using the product, but the manufacturer or commercial seller fails to provide warning to the consumer. Thus, even if a consumer misuses the product, if the manufacturer or designer can foresee that someone might use the product improperly, there must be an explicit warning of the safety hazards.
If you have been injured as the result of using a product for its intended purposes, here are a few tips:
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries
- Be sure to save the product that caused your injury and try not to alter it in any way
- Take pictures of your injuries and any damage that the product may have caused
- Document the timeline of events that led to your injury
- Obtain the names and contact information of any people who observed or witnessed the event
- Save any items of property that may be damaged
- Locate and save any documents that are associated with the product, such as owner’s manuals, receipts, the item’s packaging if available, etc.
- Schedule an appointment with an experienced products liability lawyer to discuss your case
Orange County Product Defect Attorney Scott D. Hughes can help ensure that you receive just compensation for your injuries and assist you with filing your products liability claim.
Ideally, Orange County Product Defect Attorney Scott D. Hughes hopes that you and your loved ones do not need to face the traumatic consequences of using a defective product. Here are two useful links to help you and your loved ones stay safe.
The Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) allows you to search for product recalls for a specific company or a particular month. Visit the site here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also allows to search for recalls based on the vehicle model year and brand of car. Visit the site here: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallsearch.cfm
Scott Hughes is a personal injury lawyer in Orange County, California practicing in State and Federal Court.