Most personal injury cases involve a negligent person directly causing harm to someone else. However, there are cases where an individual may not be to blame for the injury and the injured person may never come into contact with the person responsible for their injury. Those may be defective product cases, also called product liability cases, which occur when a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer is responsible for a defect in a product that injures the customer when they use the product as intended. Defective product cases are also personal injury cases, but they are usually more complicated. The reason is that you will need to find where in the product’s life span the defect happened.
It could have occurred during the design process, manufacturing process, or distribution process, or could be related to marketing or instruction materials. You will need to find out where the defect occurred in order to hold the right party accountable. That is why you should contact the Grossman Law Office when you have been injured by a defective product in Fresno. We will help you identify who was responsible for the dangerous or defective product so that they can provide you with the compensation you need to take care of the expenses caused by your injury.
You will need a defective product lawyer from the Grossman Law Office by your side because you are likely to be going up against a big corporation that does not want any negative publicity. Our product liability lawyers are not afraid to take on any corporations on behalf of our clients because we value the attorney-client relationship and will do all that we can to ensure our clients’ success. So when you need a Fresno defective product attorney, contact the Grossman Law Office for legal advice and a free consultation of your case.
THE TYPES OF PRODUCT DEFECTS
There are three categories of products liability and you need to find out which one was responsible for your accident before you file your claim:
- Design Defects – This is when there are inherent flaws in the way that the product was designed
- Manufacturing Defects – This is when there is nothing wrong with the design, but the flaw happens when the product is being manufactured.
- Failure to Warn – This is when the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings about the possible dangers the product could cause.
What Do You Do If the Product You Purchased is Defective?
Product liability cases are the most expensive types of personal injury cases according to the III (Insurance Information Institute).
If you purchased a product that you realized is defective, then you should take the following steps:
- Immediately stop using the product. When you realize that a product is defective, you should stop using it, especially since some defects have the potential to injure you. If you do get injured by the product, then you should get medical help as soon as possible.
- Check the receipts. Aside from providing proof of purchase, receipts can also give you the information for customer service as well as the product information number. You should check to see if other customers have been harmed by this product in the past because that could be the basis of a class-action lawsuit.
- Return the defective product. Most stores have a policy that allows the return of consumer products within a certain window of time. If you were not injured by the product, then you may be able to get a refund.
- Contact a Fresno personal injury lawyer. If you were injured, then a refund will not suffice, you will need compensation to take care of the expenses caused by the accident. Get in touch with a Fresno products liability lawyer from the Grossman Law Office to help you with your case.
Are Retailers Liable for Defective Products?
Retailers can be held liable because any party that is involved in the chain of distribution can be a defendant in a product liability lawsuit. However, the chain of distribution does not start with the retailer; instead, it goes as follows:
The manufacturer is at the beginning of the distribution chain and could be a huge company or a single person. There are cases where a defective product is a component of a larger product, in which case the manufacturer of the defective part and the manufacturer of the larger product can both be a part of the injury claim or lawsuit. An example is if a car features defective airbags; both the manufacturer of the airbags and the manufacturer of the vehicle can be named in the suit.
Wholesalers or Distributors
These are essentially the middlemen between the manufacturers and the retailers. However, since they are a part of the distribution chain, they can be held liable for a faulty product as well.
The retailer can be held liable for selling you a faulty product but you should keep the following things in mind:
- You do not have to purchase the product to file a lawsuit. The injuries caused by a defective product do not have to be suffered by the person who bought it. If someone borrowed the product and suffered injuries because it was defective, then they can hold the manufacturer liable or they can hold the retailer that sold the product liable.
- You did not have to be using the product when it caused your injuries. If you were injured by a product that someone else was using, you still have the right to name all the parties involved in the chain of distribution as defendants in your case.
Who Cannot Be Held Liable for Defective Products
It is just as important to know who cannot be held liable for defects as knowing who can be held liable. In Fresno and the rest of California, the following entities cannot be held liable for defective products.
- The financial institution that handled the payment between you and the seller cannot be held liable.
- Any party that sells used goods, or casual sellers who do not usually sell things as part of their business. The strict liability law of California makes it almost impossible to hold casual sellers responsible.
- Component installers. The party responsible for installing components is not responsible for any defects unless they caused the defect or had a hand in manufacturing or testing the component.
- Parties that provide professional services. For example, pharmacies in Fresno and the rest of California cannot be held liable for defective products that were manufactured by another company.
- Auctioneers cannot be held responsible for defective products.
- Landlords are not responsible for any injuries caused by defective products in a rented apartment.
- A successor corporation that bought the company responsible for the defective products is not responsible if those products entered the market before the company was purchased.
What Actions Should You Take When Getting Compensation for a Defective Product in Fresno?
The first thing you should do is to contact a Fresno personal injury attorney to help you. You should then call the company responsible for the defect to tell them about the injuries you suffered, the nature of the defect, and how the accident happened. The claims process will begin after you inform the company of your injury, after which you should receive a call or letter from a claims adjuster from the company’s insurance carrier. You should then start keeping a record of everything associated with your injury claim, such as the date that you bought the product as well as details such as its name, model number, and serial number.
You should also keep track of your injuries and the medical treatments used to treat them. Your product liability attorney should help you to gather evidence to support your claim, such as testimony from other people who were injured by the product. Your personal injury lawyer should help you to calculate the value of your claim so that they know what settlement amount to ask for. You should wait until you have finished receiving treatment because you will be including all of your medical and pharmacy bills in the settlement amount. Do not forget to include any lost wages you would have earned if you were able to work.
Once all of those actions have been completed, your Fresno defective product attorney will start to negotiate with the at-fault parties to make sure that they offer you a fair settlement. There will likely be offers and counter-offers until both parties are satisfied with the settlement amount. If an agreement cannot be reached, then you may have to file a lawsuit.
Contact the Grossman Law Office if You Were Injured by a Defective Product in Fresno County
A product liability case can be complex and intimidating since you are likely to be facing a big corporation. That is why you should contact the product liability lawyers of the Grossman Law Office to help you. Our law firm covers all practice areas of personal injury, including product liability. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience in the law so they are able to provide their clients with the expert guidance and representation that they need.
That means the lawyers of the Grossman Law Office are unafraid to take on corporations both big and small for the sake of their clients. So if you were injured in Fresno County because of a faulty product, then contact us to get the legal advice you need. One of our attorneys will give you a free consultation of your case to get started on your road to compensation.