Henderson Law, A Santa Rosa Product Liability LawyerWe all use a variety of products every day, from the moment we turn off the alarm clock to the time we tuck into bed and turn off the light. Under normal circumstances, using most products should not be dangerous, but some can pose a significant threat if they are defective. If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 

Santa Rosa product liability attorney, Michael Henderson, has represented personal injury victims for over 20 years. The legal system in California is inherently complicated, and product liability cases present their own challenges on top of that. You need an experienced advocate to help you receive the compensation you deserve. 

What Is Product Liability?

Product liability is a legal doctrine that provides a cause of action for victims injured by defective products. It is also a subset of personal injury law. There are multiple ways to find a product defective. The type of defect will help determine who is liable for the injury. An experienced Santa Rosa product liability lawyer will walk through the detailed facts of your case and help you decide the best path forward for your product liability lawsuit. 

Types of Product Defects

A man injured because of a defective product he bought in Santa Rosa.There are three main types of product defects that can occur before the product reaches the consumer. It is important for your defective product lawyer to determine where the issue originated to ensure that you bring your product liability lawsuit against the correct party. There may be—and usually are—multiple parties responsible for your injuries. 

Design Defect

A design defect relates to the specifications regarding how the product is supposed to be built and function. These problems can impact the structural integrity of the product, its functionality, or its overall safety. Children’s toys that have choking hazards or toxic components fall under design defects, as do products without proper safeguards. A design defect impacts the entire line of products designed to those specifications. 

Manufacturing Defect

A manufacturing defect occurs when a mistake is made during the actual process of making or assembling the product. Something was done incorrectly in the manufacturing process—outside of design specifications—that caused the product to be defective. Some examples include products missing parts or being incorrectly assembled. These irregularities are responsible for the product being defective. This could impact a single product or a whole line of products. 

Warning Defect 

Manufacturers have a duty to warn customers about potential, foreseeable risks associated with the product. Instructions and warning statements exist to alert consumers on how to properly use a product. Medication that does not list significant side effects could cause a big problem for consumers. The same is true for products that heat up and do not have a warning stating not to touch until cool. It is necessary for manufacturers to clearly provide safe handling and operation instructions to avoid misuse of the product.

How to Prove Your Product Liability Claim

A product in Santa Rosa with defects.Proving injury due to a product defect can be a complex process that often requires legal expertise. Here’s a brief overview of how a Santa Rosa product liability lawyer can help and some strategies/evidence they may use to support your personal injury claim against the negligent party:

  • Legal Expertise – Attorneys specializing in product liability cases have in-depth knowledge of relevant laws, regulations, and legal precedents. They can navigate the legal complexities and advocate for your rights effectively.
  • Investigation – A Santa Rosa product liability lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence supporting your claim. This may include examining the product, reviewing manufacturing processes, and identifying any design flaws or defects.
  • Expert Witnesses – Attorneys often work with expert witnesses such as engineers, product designers, or medical professionals. These experts can provide testimony regarding the defect’s cause, the extent of your injuries, and the impact on your life.
  • Product Testing – Independent testing of the product may be arranged to demonstrate its defects or dangers. This can strengthen your case by providing scientific evidence of the product’s deficiencies.
  • Documentation – Keeping detailed records of medical treatment, expenses, and the impact of the injury on your daily life is crucial. Your Santa Rosa product liability attorney can help gather and organize this documentation to support your claim for compensation.
  • Witness Statements – Eyewitnesses or individuals who have experienced similar issues with the product can provide valuable statements to corroborate your claims.
  • Recall Information – If the product has been subject to recalls or safety warnings, this information can be used as evidence of its defectiveness.

Overall, having an experienced Santa Rosa product liability lawyer on your side can significantly increase your chances of proving injury due to a product defect and obtaining fair compensation for your losses.

Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit

Prior to filing a formal legal complaint, your Santa Rosa product liability attorney will likely try to negotiate with the product manufacturer or their insurance company. A product liability settlement would allow both parties to avoid trial, which is generally desirable.

If the parties cannot come to an agreement on a fair settlement, you will need to file your product liability lawsuit. It is important that you understand the value of your case and not take the first offer you are given. 

The California statute of limitations allows you to file up to two years after the injury occurred, but the sooner the better. Businesses and product manufacturers change over time. Gathering evidence and identifying the responsible party will be easier if done soon after the damage is realized. 

California follows the doctrine of comparative fault, meaning that you can still file a lawsuit even if you were partially liable. It is likely that the defendant will try and emphasize your degree of responsibility to reduce the amount they have to pay. Your product liability attorney will build your case in a way that allows you to receive the compensation you deserve. 

What Damages Are Available for a Defective Product Case?

In a defective product case, various damages may be available to compensate the injured party. These can include economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage caused by the defective product. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, may also be awarded. Additionally, in cases of extreme negligence or malicious intent, punitive damages aimed at punishing the responsible party and deterring future misconduct may be awarded.

Contact our Santa Rosa Product Liability Lawyer

An image reflecting a product liability case in Santa Rosa.The Santa Rosa product liability attorney you choose can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. There are a lot of things to consider when filing your product liability lawsuit and experience matters. We will listen to you and help you clarify your legal options. We are not afraid to go up against big companies that are responsible for putting out defective consumer products. 

Our firm also handles other types of injury cases, including:

Contact Henderson Law to schedule a case consultation.