Every week or so, we hear about product recalls or stories of people across the United States getting injured as a result of using defectives products. And the bizarre thing is that most of these products can be commonly found in our houses or on the shelves of grocery stores.
So most of us cannot help but wonder in the backs of our minds: am I next? While we are not saying that you should refrain from using… well, any products to prevent injuries, and start eating nothing but the foods that you grow in your backyard (though doing so could probably reduce the risk of encountering a defective product), all we are saying is that educating yourself about California’s product liability laws is a splendid idea (and, above all, be cautious when using or consuming any products purchased in Los Angeles or any other city in California).
We brought our Los Angeles product liability attorney Howard Craig Kornberg to outline some of the most commonly misunderstood things about California product liability laws.
Yes, you can hold multiple parties liable for your injuries
If you have been injured as a result of using a defective product, chances are you will probably be able to file a product liability lawsuit against multiple parties. Suing multiple parties for manufacturing, selling, distributing, and in any other way playing a part in the distribution chain of a dangerous or harmful product may significantly increase the value of your settlement or verdict.
Generally, only a product liability lawyer will be able to establish the liable parties in your particular case, which, in turn, will maximize the amount of financial compensation that you can claim.
Yes, you can sue the manufacturer even if you were at-fault
California employs the pure comparative negligence legal doctrine, which makes the defendant – the party you are suing – only liable for his or her percentage of fault. Therefore, even if you were partially at fault for causing the accident involving a defective product, the manufacturer of the product – and other parties in the chain of distribution – can still be held liable for a certain percentage of damages.
For example, if you were driving a car with a faulty brake system and a car accident was caused by the combination of (a) your drunk driving and (b) the vehicle’s defective brake system, you will most likely be able to sue the manufacturer for the car defect even though your compensation will be reduced because of DUI.
Yes, there are certain product liability defenses you must be aware of
Before any sports game, a team usually examines its opponent’s tactics, strategies, and defenses to be able to adjust its own strategies and win. The same goes for legal battles, where the defendant may mount a defense against your claim. And product liability claims are no exception.
Our Los Angeles product liability attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg explains that the manufacturer and other parties you are suing – who in 99.9% of product liability cases are represented by the best lawyers in California – may mount certain types of defenses to avoid liability.
These defenses typically include (1) arguing that you failed to use the product in a reasonably foreseeable way – or as instructed in the warning labels or instructions – or modified the product in a way that turned it into a defective product, and (2) arguing that you are a “sophisticated user” who was reasonably expected to be aware of the potential dangers of using this particular product.
In either case, a skilled product liability attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg will be able to counter the defense claim and help you win the compensation that you truly deserve. Call our Los Angeles offices at 310-997-0904 or fill out this contact form to get a free consultation.