California consumer protection laws allow an individual to take action against the manufacturer of a defective or harmful product. State law requires that an individual file a personal injury claim before two years after the accident takes place. The plaintiff has three years to file a property damage claim. A statute of repose may be in effect if property damage or bodily injury was caused by an improvement to real property.
A comparative fault standard is used in personal injury and product liability cases in the state of California. This means that a victim could obtain damages even if he or she was partially to blame for causing an accident to happen. It is also important to mention that the state uses the economic loss rule when determining what types of damages a person is entitled to. There are a couple of defenses that a defendant could use in a product liability case.
First, the manufacturer of an item may try to claim that it was improperly modified. The defendant would have to then show that the modification or misuse of the product was the only reason why a plaintiff's injuries occurred. A second defense could be that the user was sophisticated enough to know that a product was potentially dangerous.
Someone who has been injured because of a flaw in a product could be entitled to damages from a manufacturer or other parties. An attorney may be able to show that a design defect was the cause of an accident that resulted in injuries. Legal counsel could also help ensure that a personal injury lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations expires. Even if a lawsuit is filed, it doesn't mean that a case cannot be settled out of court before a trial.