Central Coast Defective Product Attorney Serving San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey
Manufacturers haul in billions of dollars in profits every year from the goods they market to American consumers. With this opportunity to make substantial amounts of money comes a legal responsibility: the products made available to consumers must be free of defects that could cause the purchaser or user harm. If they do, the victim may be able to recover money in compensation for his or her damages, with the assistance of a highly experienced San Luis Obispo defective product attorney. Here we discuss information you need to know about defective products and your legal rights when you’ve been injured by one:
- How frequently consumers are harmed by defective products
- The kinds of defective products that have been known to cause injuries or fatalities
- Three categories of product defects
- The meaning of “strict liability” for defective products
- What you should do if you or a family member has been harmed by a defective product
The Statistics: How Frequently Are Consumers Harmed by Defective Products?
It is a big problem. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tells us that more than 22,000 people die every year and another 29 million suffer serious injuries from using everyday consumer products. When these injuries are reported, the manufacturer may issue a recall, but this ordinarily doesn’t happen until after the fact, and injuries have been incurred: too late to protect the victims. There are typically several hundred product recalls every year.
Designers, manufacturers, and others along the distribution chain may be held liable for your damages if you or a member of your family has been injured or killed by normal use of a defective product.
Types of Defective Products that Cause Injuries and Fatalities
This list is not exhaustive, but these are a few of the defective product types that have injured or killed consumers in recent years:
- All types of motor vehicles including cars, motorcycles and trucks
- Component auto parts
- Household products
- Electrical devices
- Medical devices, including implants and prostheses
- Pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications
- Tainted foods
- Children’s products including cribs, strollers, baby baths, and toys
- Scalding drinks
This is only a partial list. If any type of product has injured you seriously, speak to a San Luis Obispo defective product attorney to learn about your rights.
Categories of Product Defects
The three categories of product defects include:
- Defects in design
- Defects in manufacturing
- Failure to warn or marketing defects
Defects in design are those that cause a product to be inherently dangerous, before it is ever produced or marketed.
Defects in manufacturing occur in the factory and may be the result of human error or improper training of workers, faulty machinery or equipment, lack of adequate quality control procedures, or poor quality materials.
Failure-to-warn defects have to do with the instructions for use of the product. If the packaging or insert fails to alert you to a potential hazard with ordinary use, the company selling the product could be found liable for your injuries.
What is Strict Liability and How Does it Apply to Defective Products?
In most personal injury cases, you need to prove that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. In defective product cases, no proof of negligence is required. Under the legal doctrine of “strict liability,” you will only need to prove the following elements:
- The product contained a defect that caused an unreasonable danger to the consumer.
- You used the product for its intended purpose.
- The product was not altered from the condition in which it was purchased.
- As a direct result of the defect in the product, you sustained injuries.
- You incurred documentable damages as result your use of the product.
What Should You Do if You or a Family Member Has Been Harmed by a Defective Product?
- Most importantly, hire the best San Luis Obispo personal injury attorney you can find. Defective product cases are no walk in the park. They are complex and demanding, requiring specific product liability experience and legal expertise. Going up against a wealthy corporation and its insurance company is not for the uninitiated, so get yourself a defective product attorney who has been around for a good while and has racked up a lot of experience in product liability cases.
- Get medical attention immediately. Keep all your appointments and follow your doctor’s advice to the letter.
- Save the defective product and its packaging if available, along with the receipt. This will provide the evidence that will help your attorney prove your case.
- Never speak directly to the manufacturer or the insurance company. Do not give a recorded statement or sign anything. Refer all calls to your attorney, whose job it is to protect your right to recover compensation for all of your damages, both the economic and quality of life damages you have suffered.
The Best Legal Representation if You Live in Central California
For top quality legal representation in a defective product injury or wrongful death case in the coastal region of Central California, you’ll find the legal counsel that you’re looking for at the Basile Law Firm in San Luis Obispo. Jude has been practicing personal injury law as his exclusive area of focus since 1985. He is an award-winning attorney with a long record of successful recoveries for his clients in both individual and class action product liability cases, and has earned the highest esteem of both clients and peers in the legal community. He offers a free consultation and accepts cases on contingency, so no payment is ever due unless he wins money for you.
Call the Basile Law Firm today if you are a victim in San Luis Obispo, Monterey or Santa Barbara because the time to file your claim is limited by California law.