How Long Do You Have to File a Product Liability Claim? Let Us Evaluate Your Case
An injury from a product can be devastating, especially if you learn that the product was defective. You may be unable to work and are worried about how you will provide for your family. One remedy you have is to file a lawsuit to recover your medical bills, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. According to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, it is critical that you understand your time limits for filing this claim.
Statute of Limitations
According to an unstable product liability attorney in Los Angeles residents trust, the time limit to file a claim is known as the statute of limitations. Each state sets their own statute of limitations and those limits may vary depending on the type of case you plan to file. For example, a product liability claim could have a different statute of limitations than a medical malpractice claim. A product injury lawyer explains that states can even have different time limits for the same type of liability depending on who or what was injured.
California Product Liability Statute of Limitations
In California, there are two different limitations. One is set for injury to a person and the other set for injury to property. You must legally claim you were injured by a product or that a loved one died as a result of a faulty product within two years. In order to receive compensation for property damaged due to a faulty product, you must file the claim within three years. For injury to a person, if your injury is not discovered right away, you have one year from the date the injury is discovered to file a claim.
When Does the Clock Start?
An attorney stated that the statute of limitations begins in California as soon as you know you are injured or at the time you should have known the product caused your injury. However, they also point out that California has what is known as the continuous accrual rule. If there are a series of injuries, each may have its own limitation period. If you have been injured more than once by a product, you need to talk to a defective product lawyer.
Product Strict Liability Claim
Under the product strict liability claim laws in California, a lawyer says you must have been harmed by a product that was distributed, manufactured or sold by the person you file the lawsuit against. The product must have contained a manufacturing defect, have a defective design or did not include sufficient warnings of potential safety hazards. Lack of instructions may also be used as a reason for the claim. An exception to the rule exists, however, according to a lawyer in Los Angeles. The manufacturer may not be held liable if you bear some direct responsibility for your injury. For example, if you were using the product improperly and it resulted in your injury, it is possible you may not be able to file a claim.
Under California law, you must prove that the company or person you plan to sue:
- received direct financial benefit from the sale of the product;
- their role was integral and their conduct necessary to get the product to you;
- they had control over or the ability to influence the manufacturing process.
The law also states that even when the manufacturer attempts to limit liability, such as providing a disclaimer related to injury, they may still be liable if the product is deemed defective.
Claims Against Marketplace Sites
Recently, a California appeals court ruled that marketplace sites, like Amazon, could be held liable for injuries sustained from products sold through their company. The California Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that Amazon could be held liable for damages caused when a replacement laptop battery caught fire. Angela Bolger received third-degree burns when the laptop battery she purchased from a third-party seller on the online shopping website burst into flames. Currently, Amazon faces several product liability cases in state and federal courts. The judge ruled that Amazon placed itself in a chain of distribution by storing the battery in its warehouse, receiving payment and then shipping the product. They also set a term of relationship with the seller, demanding fees on each purchase. The court ruled that Amazon was “pivotal to bringing the product to the consumer.”
Recent Product Liability Cases in California
There have been several news reports about recent product liability cases in California. Some of those that have made headlines include:
- Lime and Bird face lawsuits over defective scooters that were not properly maintained
- Tainted medical marijuana may have contributed to cancer patient’s death.
- Takata airbags are at risk for rupturing and spraying metal shrapnel in vehicles.
- Monsanto RoundUp is linked to cancer.
- Johnson and Johnson baby powder is linked to ovarian cancer.
These cases indicate that almost any product on the market could have defects that may lead to injury, illness and even death. Whether you have been injured by a product or a loved one has died of injuries due to a defective product, you need to discuss your case with a California injury lawyer who understands.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a product you believe is defective, contact attorneys at Grey Law. You can arrange for a no obligation consultation by calling today or filling out the easy online form. We will review your case, provide you with the guidance you need to begin the process and be beside you every step of the way as we seek the compensation you deserve for your injury. We have 35 years’ experience helping people just like you get the best possible outcome.