Product Liability Attorney in San Diego
Most people rely on hundreds, if not thousands, of products daily, assuming that they are reasonably safe when used according to the instructions. Unfortunately, defective products, foods, medications, and medical devices are not uncommon. These injuries and illnesses often occur among the oldest and youngest populations.
If you’ve sustained injuries due to a product defect, you can seek compensation for your injury’s economic and psychological impacts through a product liability claim. An experienced San Diego product liability lawyer from Rawlins Law can help you understand this process and provide services to assist you with your claim.
San Diego Product Liability Guide
- What Is Product Liability?
- Seeking Compensation If You Suffered Injuries Due to a Defective or Dangerous Product
- What Happens if the Case is Joined?
- Injured by a Defective Product? We Can Help
Why Trust Rawlins Law With Your Product Liability Claim?
Product liability claims are almost always complex, requiring an injured claimant to go up against a well-financed manufacturer and its high-powered insurers and lawyers.
The experienced and dedicated legal team at Rawlins Law has garnered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients by being tenacious negotiators and providing aggressive representation of our clients’ claims in the courtroom. We aren’t intimidated by high-powered insurers or lawyers, but we are motivated by the opportunity to help our clients obtain the compensation they need.
What Is Product Liability?
If a product causes harm, anyone in a product’s manufacturing chain—including the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer—can owe you compensation.
Three product defects can result in liability, including:
- Design defects occur before the product’s manufacture and involve flaws that make the product unreasonably safe, even when used following the instructions on the product’s label. Design defects generally affect all of the products manufactured using that specific design. This type of defect is likely to result in numerous claims as hundreds or even thousands of people can suffer an injury due to the defect.
- Manufacturing defects occur during the construction of the item. These defects can involve foreign objects in the product, such as glass pieces in manufactured foods, or structural issues resulting from a mishap during manufacturing, such as a mistake that weakens a product’s strength or integrity.
- Packaging defects refer to the information provided on the product’s packaging label, such as inaccurate or inadequate instructions for the proper use of the product or a failure of the manufacturer to provide ample warnings about the potential risks of using the product. Packaging defects are often at the core of product liability claims involving medications, in which the consumer has inadequate instructions on how to take the medicine or is not warned about the severity of the side effects associated with it.
The Most Common Defective Products to Result in Injury
The National Safety Council reports that in one year, 11.7 million people needed treatment in emergency rooms across the country for injuries or illnesses caused by defective products.
The top three products to result in consumer-related injuries include:
- Manufactured stairs, ramps, landings, and floors, which result in around 2.7 million injuries a year. These defects most commonly cause injuries to the elderly population.
- Beds, pillows, and mattresses, which cause around 824,000 injuries a year, most commonly in children ages 0-4.
- Chairs, beds, and sofa beds, which result in around 558,000 injuries, with children ages younger than four the most common victims.
Children are also commonly injured by soaps, detergents, television sets and stands, and cooking ranges and ovens. Products that typically cause injuries to adults include defective auto parts such as improperly manufactured tires, appliances, medications, foods, clothing, and even products such as nicotine vape pens or electric scooters.
Some products recently recalled in the U.S. due to defects include gas fireplaces, thermal laminators, and fleece sweatshirts. These products failed to meet federal flammability standards. The federal government lists recalled products for easy accessibility to consumers.
Seeking Compensation If You Suffered Injuries Due to a Defective or Dangerous Product
Significant injuries can result from using a dangerous or defective product, resulting in extraordinary medical expenses, wage loss, and psychological impacts. Those injured can seek compensation.
However, product defects often impact many people, resulting in multidistrict litigation (MDL) or class actions. You need an attorney experienced in this type of claim to help you navigate the layers of complexity involved in the process.
Hiring an Attorney
Many people who endure injuries due to a product defect don’t want to hire an attorney to help them with the claims process because they don’t think they have the money to pay for quality legal services.
However, our product liability lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This means our fee is contingent on our ability to recover compensation for your claim. If you lose your case and don’t receive payment, you don’t owe anything for our legal services. However, if you win your case, our payment is a percentage of your total compensation.
Here is how it works:
- After attending a free case evaluation with a Rawlins Law product liability lawyer and you hire them to assist you with your claim, the lawyer agrees and asks you to sign a contingency fee agreement. This agreement explains the services they will provide and specifies payment of a percentage of any compensation received for the claim for attorneys fees.
- Because our product liability lawyers do not require a retainer, there is no upfront fee required from you for your legal team to begin working on the case. And because our product liability lawyers do not bill clients by the hour, you will not receive bills for our services.
- After your claim, your attorney will receive the compensation awarded to you. They will help you settle any medical liens that health care providers and other injury-related creditors placed on the award and will deduct their contingent fee percentage from the compensation. They will then meet with you to finalize the claim, and you will receive the remainder of your claim.
When a defective product causes harm to a consumer, anyone in the manufacturing chain can be liable for compensating for the injury, even if they were not negligent in the manufacturing process and had no intent to harm others. Your attorney will help you to determine who is the source of liability in your case and also discover what insurance policies they have to compensate you.
How Much Is Your Claim Worth?
Another important service that a product liability lawyer from Rawlins Law can provide is a determination of the value of your claim. Product liability claimants can seek compensation for their injury’s economic and psychological impacts.
Common expenses and impacts in damage claims from these cases include costs for medically treating the injury, wage loss, lost earning capacity if the injuries are permanent and disabling, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The Types of Evidence That You Can Use to Prove a Product Liability Claim
The types of evidence commonly used to prove a product liability claim start with the defective product itself if the victim can readily demonstrate the defect. The product’s packaging can also be valuable evidence, as it includes instructions for use and other information.
Documents about the product’s manufacture or any safety tests for the product are also important, as is medical treatment documentation linking the injury to the product defect. Product liability claims often rely on the testimony of medical experts to draw this link.
Negotiating a Settlement
Victims generally claim product liability against the at-fault manufacturer’s business liability policy. This means the insurance provider who services that policy will have a claims adjuster evaluate the claim to determine if the insured was liable and how much compensation they owe the claimant. They then can accept or deny the claim or offer to settle it out of court for a different amount than the claim’s established value.
Insurance providers will often provide meager settlements, requiring the claimant’s attorney to engage in negotiations with them to get them to increase their offer.
If other factually similar claims enjoin your claim through an MDL or class action, there are several ways to determine the settlements, such as each claimant receiving compensation based on a formula or the manufacturer providing one large amount of money for the overall settlement, with that amount being divided equally or by the severity of the injury among all the claimants.
If a manufacturer or their insurance provider fails to compensate a product liability claim, the claim can be filed in court so that a judge or jury can determine liability and order the manufacturer or insurer to pay the amount they decide the manufacturer owes the claimant after hearing the facts of the case.
Litigation is more than a trial, however. Before the trial date, your legal team will be busy preparing your claim by deposing witnesses, responding to and filing motions in court, attending pre-trial hearings, selecting a jury, preparing evidence exhibits, and other actions to provide you with the opportunity to receive compensation for the claim.
Most product liability claims filed in California have a two-year statute of limitations from the injury date or the date you discovered you were injured.
What Happens if the Case is Joined?
Certain product defects don’t just cause injuries to one person but to many. As mentioned, product liability claims can sometimes be joined with other factually similar claims against the same defendant. In class action cases, the same group of lawyers will represent a group of people with one claim. The claimants are known as a class.
Certain individuals will represent the class, with details of their claim being presented at trial to show the typical impact of the defect. The outcome of all the individual claims from the class is dependent on one case, which can be settled or can go to trial.
In MDL actions, a group of factually similar cases against the same defendant will be joined in the same court for the discovery phase of the trial, allowing all claimants and their attorneys to share the same evidence and witnesses. After the discovery phase of litigation is complete, the cases will be returned to their original jurisdiction, where a settlement or a trial can commence.
Your attorney will keep you updated on the progress of your case, including providing information about class actions or MDLs that could impact how they handle your claim.
Injured by a Defective Product? We Can Help
One of the only things more overwhelming than being injured due to a defective product is figuring out how to receive compensation for those injuries.
A personal injury lawyer from Rawlins Law understands that communication is integral to earning a claimant’s trust and providing them with the guidance they need to make crucial decisions about their case. Our team strives to offer lightning-fast answers to the questions you have about your claim and regular updates so that you’re always aware of where things stand with your case.
Let our product liability lawyer evaluate your claim for free and tell you more about the services we can provide to assist you with seeking compensation for your injury. Contact us at (858) 529-5872 or by filling out our online contact form.
“My case was settled quickly and efficiently. Ashley was there to answer any question I had. She made sure that I felt taken care of and listened to with regards to my injuries and concerns. Karime was my case manager and she was available at any time for any inquiry. If i had to recommend an attorney to any friends or family it will always be Car Crash Ash!” -Noe P. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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