The internet gives the world access to faster modes of communication and helps businesses transfer money with the click of a button. This creates an interconnected, global marketplace in which competition is stiffer than ever. While every business owner knows that it is good policy to place a high value on customer safety, increased competition can cause well-intentioned CEOs to cut corners and put consumers at a higher risk for serious personal injury.
This risk not only increases the likelihood of a serious accident, but it violates the social contract that exists between our citizens and the businesses they support. Corporate greed, combined with differing ethical standards that exist between presidential administrations, creates a climate where businesses think they are allowed to conserve money by forgoing safety regulations.
There is no better example to highlight the seriousness of product liability accidents than the 2014 Takata airbag recall, which resulted in 11 Americans, including three Californians, dying because of the company’s faulty airbags. The Japanese automobile-part manufacturer pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges after being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice and is expected to pay a $1 billion fine to make up for the damage.
While Takata was rightfully admonished for their airbag malfunctions, Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price estimates that “more than 1 million defective airbag inflators in Southern California remain unrepaired, putting far too many members of our community at risk.” This is a significant number of people who are endangering themselves, and their families, because of a defective product that was unfairly sold to the California public.
Important Details Regarding California Product Liability Law
In order for a product liability claim to be valid, a person must prove that the product was unreasonably hazardous, that an injury was sustained, and that the injury was caused by the defective product. Under California law, the strict liability rule is applied to all product liability cases. This means a person must show that their injuries were caused by the defective product and does not include proving that the manufacturer or seller were negligent in ensuring product safety and helped cause the injury.
Although California’s strict liability rule makes it easier for residents to file a valid personal injury claim, a person must be aware of the deadlines that exist regarding all product liability cases. For example, there is a two-year statute of limitations placed on filing a personal injury claim for defective products. There is also a three-year statute of limitations placed on filing a recovery claim for any personal property that was damaged because of a defective product. It is important that a person adhere to these deadlines because the likelihood of the case moving forward after missing a deadline is slim-to-none.
Finding an Attorney for a Severe Product Liability Case
Even though California law is pro-consumer regarding product liability cases, it is still recommended that a person retain the services of an experienced attorney after suffering a serious personal injury due to a defective product. The company being sued likely has a large budget set aside for liability cases and will do everything in its power to wear a person down and force him or her to settle for a lesser amount. If you have suffered a severe injury because of a defective product, and live in or around Pasadena, California, it is vital that you schedule a meeting with Strassburg, Gilmore, & Wei, Attorneys at Law and have one of our highly skilled attorneys help you heal by procuring a healthy financial settlement.