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Written by: Steven R. Clawson
| Read Time: 3 minutes

The manufacturers and sellers of goods are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products. Without standards protecting consumers from unsafe products, how would we have a functioning global economy as we have in 2021?

Consumers need to know that the products they use are safe. While product liability rules apply all around the world, different jurisdictions have differing rules.

California is no exception: we have our own California product liability rules. If you are in California, you should know a little bit about California product liability law. It is always wise to familiarize yourself with the laws of your jurisdiction.

If you were hurt by a product in California and want to recover the damages you suffered, you must understand California’s product liability rules. At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we put together this primer on California product liability so that you have the basic knowledge you need for a successful claim.

California Product Liability Law: General Rules and Information

Establishing product liability is a much simpler process than establishing liability for other civil claims. Most other civil claims require a showing of negligence.

Establishing negligence requires the claimant to show exactly how the defendant breached a duty owed to another person and how that breach of duty caused harm. This is not the case with product liability.

Instead of negligence liability, California product liability rules use a system of strict liability. When it comes to strict liability, your intent or your efforts to follow rules and not harm another person is irrelevant. All that matters is that another person suffered damages as a result of something you are responsible for.

Now, what does this mean for you in establishing California product liability? It means that you need to prove only these two elements to hold the responsible party liable for damages:

  • Damage and
  • Causation.

That’s it. If you can show that you suffered damage and that a product caused that damage, you can hold that product’s manufacturer, producer, seller, or even designer liable for those damages.

But while this may seem simple, establishing that a product was designed or manufactured with a defect that resulted in damage or injury is rather involved. You will likely need a seasoned product liability attorney to help you in that process. 

California Product Liability Law: Statute of Limitations

Whenever you need to file a civil claim, it is critically important that you keep the relevant statutes of limitations in mind. Statutes of limitations limit the amount of time after a given incident that a party can be held liable for something.

In criminal law, this means that once this period of time elapses after someone allegedly commits a crime, the state can no longer prosecute an accused person for that specific crime.

Different areas of law have different statutes of limitations. There are two-time limits relevant to California product liability that you must follow if you want your claim to succeed.

First, the statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the injury itself. If the injury is not discovered for more than one year after the accident, you have one year from the injury’s discovery to file the lawsuit.

Second, the statute of limitations on filing property damage claims, which are sometimes part of product liability claims, is three years from the date the damage occurred. If the statute of limitations elapses before you file your lawsuit, the state will dismiss your suit. 

Beware of Parties Seeking to Exploit Statutes of Limitations

Always keep statutes of limitations in mind when you have not filed a lawsuit but are pursuing your damage claim. Powerful parties, including product manufacturers, often try to exploit less experienced parties through the statute of limitations.

They do so by prolonging or otherwise delaying negotiations and other settlement procedures. They hope that by the time you realize they aren’t going to settle, it’s too late to file a lawsuit. You can make sure this never happens to you by contacting a lawyer at the beginning of your case.

They can handle all of the negotiations for you. Most importantly, with a California product liability attorney on your side, the defending party—the product’s manufacturer, producer, seller, or designer—will know that you can file a lawsuit in less than a day, so they are motivated to negotiate in good faith.

Wells Call Injury Lawyers Is Here For All Your California Product Liability Needs

Whether you are trying to weigh your legal options, have already started negotiations with the responsible party, or know that you want to file a lawsuit now, the California product liability team at Wells Call Injury Lawyers is on standby to help you.

At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we don’t view you as just another client. Instead, we view you as our partner in your legal claim. We make every effort possible to ensure that your needs are met in the legal process.

That way, we get what we need—happy and satisfied partners. We have helped our clients recover more than $500 million up to this point, so let’s see what we can do for you. Call Wells Call Injury Lawyers today or contact us online for your free California product liability consultation!

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