You’re eligible for a product liability claim if you’ve ever bought a product from a seller that didn’t work, or worse, caused injury because it didn’t work properly. While there are various kinds of product liability, the one that’s probably talked about the least is a failure to warn consumers.
In the state of California, if you are injured by a product that you bought with a warning defect, you may have a case against the seller, distributor, or manufacturer for punitive and compensatory damages. If you’ve been hurt by using a product with a warning defect, you should contact a product liability attorney in Los Angeles immediately. Here’s what you need to know about warning defect laws in California.
You Only Have Two Years to File a Claim
As with most personal injury claims in the state of California, product liability cases have a two-year statute of limitations. This means you need to file against the seller, distributor, and/or manufacturer within two years from the date you were harmed by the warning defect.
You Must Prove Seven Factors to Win a Warning Defect Claim
There are seven factors that make up a warning defect claim. You must have evidence to support them in order to win your case. These elements are:
- The defendant sold, distributed, or manufactured the product.
- The medical or scientific knowledge generally accepted during the time period when the product was sold, distributed, or manufactured should have made it obvious to the seller, distributor, or manufacturer that the product had potential side effects, risks, or allergic reactions.
- The potential allergic reactions, side effects, or risks posed a considerable danger if the product was misused or used in a foreseeable or intended way.
- The allergic reactions, side effects, or risks would not be obvious to a member of the general public.
- The defendant didn’t instruct or warn customers of the potential allergic reactions, side effects, or risks.
- The plaintiff was injured, and
- The plaintiff’s injuries were caused directly by the absence of warnings and instructions from the defendant.
The state of California affixes stringent liability for warning defects. Sellers, distributors, and manufacturers can often be deemed liable for warning defects, even if they haven’t been negligent.
However, if a plaintiff misuses a product, it is a complete defense to liability. When a defendant includes satisfactory warnings on a product and the plaintiff is injured through intentional misuse or their own negligence, the defendant will not be held responsible for any harm that results.
California also uses comparative fault. This means that if you’re found to be partially at fault for your own injuries, that same percentage will be subtracted from your final award. That is why it’s so important to have a product liability attorney in Los Angeles on your side. We will defend your case to prove that the blame falls solely on the seller, distributor, or manufacturer.
You May Be Eligible for Punitive and Compensatory Damages
While compensatory damages are always obtainable in a defective warning case, that isn’t necessarily true for punitive damages. Compensatory damages cover things like lost wages, property damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering, but punitive damages were created to expressly punish the defendant. They are available only if the defendant they are found to have engaged in gross recklessness or negligence, or if they are proven to have purposely caused the warning defect.
When you have injuries caused by a product’s warning defect, you need to enlist the help of a product liability attorney in Los Angeles to protect your interests. The Compass Law Group, LLP, can help you get the award you deserve to get you back on the track to a healthy and happy life.