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What is Product Liability Negligence?

June 4, 2021 Product Liability

When pursuing a product liability claim, there are several different legal theories on which you can base your claim. Those include strict liability, breach of warranty, and negligence. 

The Theory of Negligence 

Consumers expect products to be safe when used as they are intended. Manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and any other party involved in a product’s chain of distribution have a duty to meet a reasonable standard of care and provide a safe product. If one of these parties fails to exercise reasonable care, and their actions (or inaction) result in injury, they may have acted negligently. Negligence claims under product liability law include design errors, careless mistakes in the manufacturing of a product, and failure to warn consumers of the dangers associated with a product.

However, the injured party has the burden of proving the at-fault party failed to take reasonable care, making them liable for damages. This can be challenging and will likely require an experienced San Diego product liability attorney

Proving Product Liability Negligence

For a plaintiff to recover compensation under a negligence theory of liability, they must establish the following elements:

  • The at-fault party owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. (e.g., a manufacturer owes a duty to consumers to create a safe product)
  • The manufacturer breached its duty to the plaintiff. (e.g., a manufacturer failed to provide a warning label about potential dangers or risks of harm associated with using the product)
  • The at-fault party’s breach of care was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury. (e.g., product exploded and burned the plaintiff)
  • The plaintiff sustained actual damages due to the manufacturer’s negligent conduct. (e.g., medical bills, lost income, etc.)

California follows a rule called “comparative negligence.” This rule can make it more challenging for a victim to win a product liability claim. Essentially, if a defendant can prove a plaintiff was negligent in a way that contributed to the accident, the plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced or eliminated entirely. For example, if you are awarded $20,000 but found 70% at fault for your injury, you will only receive $6,000. 

How a Product Liability Lawyer Can Help You

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury because of a defective product, you may be eligible for financial compensation. However, the defendant will likely have extensive resources and a team of attorneys who will vigorously defend their interests in court. For the best chance of obtaining the fair compensation that you deserve, seek the services of an experienced and aggressive product liability lawyer. They will help you make educated and informed decisions on how to pursue your claim. That may mean a satisfactory settlement outside of court or taking your case to trial. 

Contact CaseyGerry for Help 

Product liability is a complex area of law. The best way to determine whether you have a legitimate claim is to contact an experienced San Diego product liability attorney as soon as possible after an injury has occurred. We will evaluate your potential claim and discuss your legal rights in a free consultation