If you or someone you care about has been injured or become ill due to using a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. Companies have a duty to ensure they put safe products on the market for consumers to use. When they breach their duty, they can be held liable for damages. However, these cases must be filed within a certain amount of time. Understanding the California product liability statutes of limitations is important.
There are multiple time frames for these lawsuits
For personal injury cases that arise as a result of a defective product, the person injured has two years from the time the injury occurs or from the time it should have been discovered.
While most product liability cases are the result of traumatic incidents that have immediate effects, that is not always the case. An example of this is defective prescription drugs or implantable medical devices. The harmful effects of these products may not appear for years after a person commences using them. In these cases, the two-year clock will not start ticking until a person discovers the injury.
Aside from the two-year timeframe for personal injuries, a person can file a claim for the recovery of personal property that was damaged by the defective product. The time frame for these cases is three years from the date the damage occurred.
A failure to comply with the statute of limitations in these cases will likely result in the case being thrown out of court. Victims will then be denied their right to seek financial compensation. To best preserve your legal rights, speak to a Long Beach product liability attorney as soon as possible.
It is important to act quickly
Because of the fairly tight timeframe for product liability personal injury cases, it is important to act quickly when seeking legal assistance. A Long Beach injury attorney will be able to conduct an investigation into what happened and will work to prove liability on the part of the company or manufacturer.
How do these incidents occur?
Products generally become defective in one of three ways:
- Faulty design. In some cases, a product is released to consumers despite having a designed flaw. This flaw may have not been realized during testing phases, or the oversight could have been intentional on the part of a manufacturer.
- Manufacturing error. There are times when a well-designed product is altered during the manufacturing phase, making it harmful to consumers.
- Labeling problems. An incorrect product label could be misleading to the consumer. This could happen if any of the following are missing or incorrect: usage instructions, ingredients, dosages, side effects, safety hazards, allergens, and more.
What kind of compensation is available in these cases?
There are various types of compensation available to those injured due to a defective product. This can include both economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Coverage of medical expenses
- Recovery of lost wages if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against the company or manufacturer
A skilled attorney will help you fully evaluate your total losses by working with qualified healthcare professionals. Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant in the case in order to secure the compensation you deserve. If the other side does not offer a fair settlement, your case may need to go to trial.