Bakersfield Products Liability Lawyers
Bakersfield Defective Product Lawyers
Product defects are often responsible for causing serious injuries to an individual. Our Bakersfield products liability lawyers can assist you in filing a products liability lawsuit. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers all have an obligation to provide consumers with products that are reasonably safe when used in a reasonable manner. Too often, however, companies place profits ahead of safety, and the result is a seriously injured victim.
What Are the Types of Defects a Product Can Have?
There are essentially three types of defects that create liability for defective products:
- Manufacturing defects
- Design defects
- Marketing defects
If you have been injured by a product that had any one of these defects, you may be entitled to recovery for the damages you have suffered.
A manufacturing defect is caused by a problem during assembly and is the result of a mistake. This defect only occurs in a small portion of a company’s goods. However, a manufacturer is still liable for any of the defects that occur from faulty construction regardless of the precautions they took. The claimant will need to prove that the defect which caused their injury was already present when the product departed from the factory.
Design defects are issues in the original blueprints of a product that cause it to be unreasonably hazardous for potential customers. Design defects are dangerous because they will exist in all of the products a company has manufactured with that blueprint.
To accurately assess if a design defect exists you can ask three questions:
- Was the design of the product unreasonably dangerous before the manufacturing stage?
- Could it have been foreseen that the design might cause harm to a potential user?
- Was there a better option that could have been used that was financially realistic and didn’t change the function of the product?
It’s not necessary to fulfill all these requirements—if even one of these answers turns out to be a “yes,” you may have grounds to pursue damages. You should begin the process by contacting an experienced Bakersfield defective products attorney as soon as possible.
The last form of defect is a marketing defect, which includes more than one possible issue. A marking defect occurs when a manufacturer or any part in the chain fails to warn users of potential risks. If the injury could have been prevented with proper warnings, you may be eligible to pursue damages.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) oversees creating and maintaining rules for warning labels on products. They require safety symbols and other labels that are easy to read, offer images of safety risks, and give detailed information on the hazards of a product. The warning label must inform the customer of the following things:
- Existing hazards
- Effects of the hazard
- The level of risk associated with the product
- How to avoid the hazard
These warning labels must also be positioned very close to the hazard area and highly visible. They should also be produced to last as long as the product lasts. To make it more clear for consumers, ANSI has also decided upon three different color-coded words:
- “Caution” (yellow) — A condition that could be hazardous and might end in a slight to moderate injury
- “Warning” (orange) — A circumstance that could be hazardous and might end in death or a severe injury
- “Danger” (red) — The most extreme warning, an impending hazard that will end in severe injury or death
Along with a description of what the hazard is, one of these keywords must be clearly put on a white background to ensure its visibility. The description section of the label will be divided into two panels: one side will have a symbol and the other side will have a small message section including important information.
When trying to determine how effective a warning label was, here are questions you can ask:
- How serious was the harm done?
- How much did the warning label assume the user already knew?
- How much did the manufacturer expect the user already knew?
- Was the product being used how it was supposed to be used?
- What was the likelihood of the product causing harm?
- Was the warning clear and simply stated in a way that made it easy to understand?
If you conclude that the warning label did an insufficient job of protecting you from the hazards of a product, hire a Bakersfield defective product lawyer to begin your case.
What Kinds of Claims Can Be Made on Defective Products?
The three main types of cases that can be brought up about a defective product are strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Each of these cases has their own specific set of rules and requirements necessary when pursuing damages.
The most common claim made against a manufacturer is typically referred to as a “strict liability” claim. Under this theory, a manufacturer will be liable if you can establish that:
- The product was defective.
- The defect existed prior to the manufacturer releasing the product.
- The defect caused your damages.
If a defect does indeed exist, regardless of whether the manufacturer exercised extreme caution when making the product, they may still be strictly liable for any damages that occur as a result of the defect. This theory does not apply to products that are purchased second-hand or after already being used.
For a negligence claim, the claimant must prove that their injuries were a result of carelessness in the manufacture or design of a product. This begins by proving the duty of the defendant to have sold a safe product, and proving that they breached said duty. The claimant must prove that the defendant should have known or in fact did know that the product was defective, and that the defect is what caused their injuries.
Negligence can occur in any of the following stages of product development:
- Creating ineffective product plans
- Failing to predict potential reasonable uses for the product
- Failing to properly test the product
- Inadequately maintaining machines that produce product components
- Releasing the device too early for public use or consumption
If you think a manufacturer or retailer was negligent, you should reach out to an experienced defective product attorney in Bakersfield, CA for assistance.
Breach of Warranty
A buyer relies on two warranties when a product is sold to them; the first is the express warranty. The express warranty is any representation of a product released by those who produced or distributed it. This is anything the manufacturer or retailer states about the product itself and its safety.
The second warranty is called the implied warranty. The implied warranty is an unstated promise from the manufacturer that the product will not cause any harm if used correctly. There is an assumption that as long as directions are followed, no harm should be done to the buyer.
When any of these statements or promises prove to be false, an individual may file a breach of warranty claim to hold the manufacturer or retailer responsible. A breach of warranty claim can be made by anybody who could be reasonably expected to use the product in question.
What to Do With a Defective Product
If you have been injured due to a defective product, our Bakersfield products liability lawyers recommend taking the following steps:
- Keep the product and anything related to it, such as packaging, instructions, receipts, etc.
- Take photographs of the product and the scene of the accident.
- Verify that you were using the product in accordance with the manufacturer’s written instructions.
- Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
Once you’ve taken these steps, contact our Bakersfield products liability lawyers immediately, so that we can assist you in filing a products liability lawsuit. The Bakersfield products liability lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles have extensive experience handling product liability cases.
Examples of Dangerous Defective Products
Some examples of products that can cause issues when they are defective include the following:
- Automobile parts — Defective brakes, airbags, seatbelts, and tires all put vehicle drivers and passengers at extremely high risk.
- Household products — Defective cleaning supply containers, power tools, and appliances can all cause harm to individuals who don’t use the proper care.
- Pharmaceuticals — Medical devices and drugs which help maintain health or sustain life can cause serious issues when defective.
- Products for children — A defective car seat, swing, or toy could put your child in harm’s way.
Any product that functions differently than it is supposed to can cause a problem, and it is our responsibility to ensure that the individuals who made those faulty products are held accountable.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Defective Product Claim
Legislation around product liability cases can be fairly complex. Depending on which product liability category your injury is a result of—manufacturing, design, or marketing—your case will need to be specifically built around that category. The defendant will do their best to dispute your claim and argue that you should’ve known the product was dangerous. Hiring a Bakersfield defective product attorney to interpret the laws and your situation will help you get the maximum possible benefits.
Meet Our Bakersfield Products Liability Lawyers
Meet the Bakersfield products liability lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, and learn why they decided to serve the people of Kern County. Contact us today.