Product Liability Attorneys – San Diego, CA
San Diego Product Liability Lawyers
Consumers have a right not to be injured by dangerous products. Products liability law protects consumers from dangerous products that are introduced into the marketplace by careless companies.
Products can be defective for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a product can have a manufacturing defect, where the individual product was put together defectively. Sometimes, a product can be defective by reason of dangerous design. Products may also be found defective by reason of a failure to warn of the known hazards of using the product.
If you’ve been injured or suffered other types of damage because a product you used was defective, you may be able to file a product liability claim to recover compensation for your damages.
When you purchase a product, you put your faith in the manufacturer. The product should work as advertised, and be free of defects that cause injuries. However, sometimes products are defective when companies try to cut corners in an effort to save money.
Unfortunately, defective product law is as diverse as the number of products on the market. That’s why you need a product liability lawyer to walk you through the claims process.
If you or a loved one have been injured or had property damaged because of a defective product, contact Buche & Associates P.C. for a free consultation today.
The attorneys of Buche & Associates, P.C. are trial lawyers committed to enforcing the rights of parties injured by defective products. If we take your case, we do not recover unless you recover.
Who Can File a Product Liability Claim in California?
Defective products cause thousands of injuries every year. Sure, manufacturers sometimes have a recall process in place, but it’s impossible for recalls to catch every single product defect out there. Ultimately, it’s up to the manufacturer and retailer to ensure they are producing and selling safe products to the American public. If that’s not the case and someone gets hurt, it’s the victim’s right to file a product liability claim in civil court.
Under California state law, anyone who was injured or had property damaged as a result of a defective product can file a product liability claim. The state uses a pure comparative fault standard, too, which also works in your favor. Basically, it means even if you were partially at fault, you may still be able to recover some damages if the product you were using was defective. For example, if you were using a product that exploded and the explosion caused $10,000 worth of damage to the roof of your home. If you were 80 percent at fault and the defective product was only deemed 20 percent at fault for causing the accident, you could still recover $2,000 from the product manufacturer and/or seller.
It is important to note, however, that California also uses something called the economic loss rule. This means in order to file a product liability claim, you must have been injured or had property damaged as a result of using a defective product. You can’t seek recovery for purely economic losses such as lost profits or wages.
If you want to consider filing a product liability claim and want to explore your options, book a free consultation with Buche & Associates P.C. as soon as possible.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Product Liability Claim in California?
When it comes to product liability claims, every state has its own statute of limitations. This is the amount of time you have to file your product liability claim.
In California, the statute of limitations for product liability cases involving injury is generally two years from the date of the accident, or when a person knew or should have known of the injury. If you used a defective product that caused property damage but didn’t injure you, you have three years from the date of the incident to file your product liability claim. In some product cases, the date when a statute of limitations runs can be tricky. This is because some products are not recognized as defective until years after they first injure people. This is often the case with medical devices that may be implanted in a body, or chemicals in products that cause cancers years later. The issue is not black and white in many cases, which is why it is important to consult an attorney.
California also has a statute of repose that, in some cases, gives you 10 years from the incident to file your product liability claim. However, typically the statute of repose only applies if the faulty product is an improvement on the real property. For example, if you have electrical work or track lighting installed in your home and it caused a fire, you would have up to 10 years to file your product liability claim. This statute is in effect because when product damage is caused and several different products could have caused the damage, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the exact problem quickly. The extra time allows for evidence to be collected and analyzed properly.
San Diego Product Liability Attorneys Who Understand Liability
Product liability lawsuits aren’t cut and dry. In California, there are three different basis for liability in product liability cases. That’s why you need a San Diego product liability attorney, like those at Buche & Associates P.C., who understand the different types of product liability and the applicable laws.
When injuries or property damage happens due to a fault in the design of a product, the basis for liability is often called “defective design.” In these cases, the court uses two tests to determine whether the product’s design was, in fact, faulty and resulted in injuries and/or property damage — the consumer expectations test and the risk/benefits test. However, the consumer expectations portion of the test may only be used in cases where expert opinion is needed. When this happens, the court uses the consumer expectations test to see whether the product in questions fails to perform safely as a normal customer would expect.
Sometimes products that are designed as safely as possible are still dangerous. In this case, manufacturers are often required to put warning labels or include instructions with warnings in them to help ensure consumers use the product safely. However, if the manufacturer fails to divulge this information, and you were injured or your property was damaged while using the product in the correct manner, you could have the right to file a product liability claim. In this case, the basis for liability is called “lack of adequate warning or instructions.”
Lastly, consumers have the right to file a property damage claim in the event the product has a manufacturer’s defect that caused injury or property damage to the victim. In this case, your attorney wouldn’t necessarily file a traditional personal injury claim for property damage, but he or she might file a claim of strict liability for a manufacturing defect.
As you can see, product liability claims can be pretty complex. That’s why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. When you’re ready to explore your options, schedule a free consultation with Buche & Associates P.C.
What Does Strict Liability Mean in Product Liability Claims?
Strict liability sounds a bit complicated, but it isn’t. In fact, it’s actually a law that’s on your side.
In 1963, the California Supreme Court made a ruling that recognizes the tort of strict liability. What this means is that you don’t need to prove that the product manufacturer or retailer was negligent when placing the product that injured you or caused damage on the market.
This is completely opposite of other types of personal injury claims. Instead of proving negligence, your San Diego product liability attorney needs to prove that the manufacturer placed the product on the market, knowing it wouldn’t be tested for defects first and that those defects caused personal injury or damaged your property. Strict liability also extends to retailers, even if the retailer wasn’t negligent in selling the product.
How to Prepare for Filing a Product Liability Claim
If you believe that your injuries or the damage to your property were caused by a defective product, it’s important that you collect as much evidence as possible. It’s a good idea to keep:
- The product
- The product packaging, instructions, and any included warnings if possible
- Receipts for any work and materials used to repair damaged property
- Receipts for replacement of the property that was damaged
- Your medical records
- Your medical bills
You should also do a quick search online to see if the company has recalled the product in question or if it has been deemed a dangerous product. Basically, any proof you have that the product is defective and the total of the expenses you incurred because of the faulty product will help your San Diego product liability attorney build a solid case for you.
While it’s important to gather as much information as you can to use as evidence in your case, it’s equally important to speak to a San Diego product liability lawyer as soon as possible. During a consultation, your lawyer can help you determine whether you have the right to file a product liability claim and what evidence you need to support it.
If you were injured or had property damaged because of a defective product, contact Buche & Associates P.C. as soon as possible for your free consultation.
What Type of Damages Can Be Recovered During Product Liability Case?
If your product liability claim is successful, you might be able to recover compensation falling under four different categories — pain and suffering, loss of consortium, compensatory damages, and/or punitive damages.
However, it’s important to keep in mind, punitive damages are only typically awarded in severe cases. This is because punitive damages are seen as a way to punish the defendant for any wrongdoings.
When you’re ready to discuss your product liability claim, contact us for a free consultation.
How Much Does It Cost To File a Product Liability Claim?
The cost of filing and settling your product liability claim varies depending on the specifics of your case and whether or not the case has to be heard in open court. However, at Buche & Associates P.C., we don’t charge you anything until a settlement is reached. That means, if we fail to settle or win your case, you don’t owe us anything.
Of course, we want all of our clients to get a fair settlement amount. So we do our best only to take on product liability cases that we know we have a decent shot at settling. If we don’t think you have a valid case, we’ll let you know during your free consultation. The last thing we want to do is take you through the process of filing and litigating a product liability claim that you don’t actually have a right to file and a reasonable chance of recovering.
Our process is simple. First, you set up a free consultation with one of our product liability lawyers in San Diego. The lawyer reviews the fact of your case to determine whether you have a valid claim.
Once it’s determined that you have a valid claim, we can begin collecting the evidence needed to file the claim with the court. At Buche & Associates P.C., we always keep our clients’ best interests in mind. It’s our goal to get you the highest possible settlement amount and we walk you through the entire claims process.
If you believe you have a product liability claim to file, schedule a free consultation with Buche & Associates P.C. as soon as possible.
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