Product Liability Lawyers Serving Santa Maria
As a consumer, you have a right to trust that the products you purchase are reasonably safe for use or consumption. Unfortunately, some products fail to meet these standards. Depending on the circumstances, a product defect can be anywhere from annoying to catastrophic.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Santa Maria product liability attorney can help you determine what caused your injury and who is liable. The team at Frederick Law Firm has been representing product liability victims all along the California central coast for over 30 years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
What Is a Defective Product?
According to the National Safety Council, in 2021, 11.7 million people were injured by consumer products and treated in emergency departments. Most of those injuries involved everyday products that are often assumed by the public to be reasonably safe.
You are probably wondering, What is product liability? Product liability is the legal doctrine that holds liable designers, manufacturers, and sellers for damages caused by defective products. Specifically, under California law, defective products are those products that fail to meet the reasonable expectations of the consumer when used as intended.
An experienced Santa Maria product liability lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible to pursue a claim for a defective product.
There are a number of agencies and organizations responsible for regulating products that enter the marketplace. Here are a few of the largest governing bodies:
- Consumer Product Safety Commission,
- Food and Drug Administration,
- U.S. Department of Transportation,
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
- American National Standard Institute, and
- National Institutes of Standards and Technology.
There are many other industry-specific agencies as well. The regulations established by these agencies and organizations may be relevant to your defective product case.
Your Santa Maria product liability attorney can help you determine the rules and standards that apply to your case.
What Qualifies as a Defective Product?
There are three types of product defects, which relate to where the defect occurred in the chain of production. In some cases, multiple categories may apply to defective product claims.
The design is the first component of the manufacturing process. A design defect claim can be made when the product is inherently dangerous or defective despite being manufactured correctly. Design flaws impact the entire line of products.
When a product is not produced according to design specifications, it can cause the product to be defective. This is often due to an error during the process of making or assembling a product. A manufacturer defect can impact a single product, a specific run or batch of products, or the entire line.
Failure to Warn
Warning labels are crucial for manufacturers to avoid liability. Product manufacturers have the legal responsibility to warn consumers about potential, foreseeable risks that come with using their products. This also includes providing instructions about how to properly use the product. If the product causes injury when used in a way it was not intended to be used, that consumer might not have a valid product liability claim.
A Santa Maria product liability lawyer can conduct an investigation to determine where the issue with the product originated so you know who to hold legally responsible.
Common Defective Products
Many products on the market have the potential to be defective, and if they are, consumers could suffer injuries. Here are some of the most common products that are noted for dangerous defects.
When the body is not functioning properly, medical devices may be required to increase a patient’s quality of life or even sustain their life. Some devices exist outside the body, such as oxygen machines, vital-sign monitors, and equipment used to administer medications. Others may be surgically installed, such as pacemakers, knee replacements, IUD birth control, and tracheostomy tubes. All of these devices can be harmful or even lethal if they do not work properly.
Defective vehicle components can cause a car to malfunction, and if this malfunction happens at the wrong time, it can cause an accident. Defects can affect most auto parts, including safety devices like seat belts and airbags. Functional components like the engine, tires, electrical system, and brakes can also be defective. Automotive recalls usually occur because multiple lawsuits have been filed against the vehicle manufacturer.
Defective toys are a terrifying thought for parents. Common concerns with children’s toys include those with small parts that can come loose and cause a choking hazard. Toys made with toxic materials like lead paint have also been a problem addressed in multiple lawsuits.
Home Improvement Equipment
Some tools are inherently dangerous. Many are heavy and made of metal pieces. When used properly, power tools, saws, and other tools should not result in injury. Manufacturers are responsible for providing clear instructions on what to do and not to do with their tools.
Medication has to go through stringent testing before it is allowed into the market. This includes identifying and warning consumers of all potential side effects. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can be defective. Though side effects are the most common defects, contamination in the manufacturing process can also occur.
How Can a Santa Maria Product Liability Attorney Help?
The team at Frederick Law Firm believes that your first priority should be recovering from your defective product injury or illness. Let us worry about the rest. With decades of personal injury experience, we know how to navigate the complex California legal system and can guide you through the entire claim process. One of the most crucial pieces of filing a product liability claim is understanding the value of your case. We can help you calculate the current and future costs associated with your injury and what it will take for you to mentally, physically, and financially move forward. Contact us today to schedule your case consultation.