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California Statute of Limitations for Product Liability

California Statute of Limitations for Product Liability

Updated on Tuesday 12th January 2021

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California-Statute-of-Limitations-for-Product-Liability.jpgThe statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits in California is two years for those injuries that were caused by the wrongful acts or the negligence of another party. This period of time will run starting with the first day of the injury, however, in some cases, this timeframe may be different.
 

What are product liability lawsuits based on?

 
 
Product liability lawsuits rely on the claimant’s ability to prove that the injury was caused by a malfunction of the product or that the product that was bought by the customer was defective. However, like in all personal injury cases, when making such a claim, the statute of limitations for product liability cases must be observed.
 
So, what is a defective product? It is one that has had a poor design and/or manufacturing as well as one that has inadequate or insufficient labeling or instructions. In this latter case, it is precisely the lack of instructions or proper labeling that caused the accident or is to blame for the accident to a large extent. When possible, plaintiffs can base their claim specifically on this failure to properly label a product.
 
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you if you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective product. Our team of experts will be able to assess your case and help you obtain the rightful compensations for your losses.
 

What is the general statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits in California?

 
The statute of limitations is the time period within which the victim can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer if he/she has been injured by a defective product. The statute of limitations for product liability in California is two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered. If you file a lawsuit after the expiration of the statute of limitations, the judge will most likely reject your case no matter how well founded your claims are.
 
Apart from the two-year timeframe for bringing forward personal injuries caused by defective products, plaintiffs can also claim compensation for the recovery of personal property also caused by using defective products or parts. In this case, the statute of limitations can be three years from the date of the loss.
 

How are injuries classified?

 
Injuries caused by defective products can have an immediate impact on the victim (wounds caused by defective electrical products, electrocution or other evident injuries), but others may not be detected right away (inhaling fumes from defective chemical products that will eventually harm your lungs). In California, the law can allow the victim to bring forward a case based on this discovery rule: the time limits on the personal injury case can begin after the injury was discovered. This rule is especially useful in cases that involve defective medical products. For example, a case related to defective or dangerous medication, such as the case involving talk products, could be brought to court at a later date, once the harm becomes obvious.
 
However, because the law stipulates that the statute of limitations can begin when the injury “should have been discovered”, the court can decide that you did not bring the case forward when the first signs of an injury occurred. It is also possible that victims who bring a case to court at a (much) later date could receive a smaller compensation amount.
 
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you better understand the statute of limitations and file your claim as soon as possible.
 
We invite you to watch an informative video about the statute of limitations applicable to product liability cases in California

 

How can you prove that the defective product was the case of injury?

 
California has a strict liability rule for injuries caused by defective products. Victims that have been injured by a defective product need to prove that the injury was indeed caused by that product.
 
In general, the claimant who states that he was injured by a product must prove that:
- the product was dangerous and even more so, unreasonably dangerous in some cases;
- the injury exists and manifested as stated;
- the injury was indeed caused by using that product (and wouldn’t have occurred should the product hadn’t had that hazardous characteristic to it).
 
For more information about the manufacturer’s negligence in a personal injury case, defective products victims can talk to one of our personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles.
 
For more information about your rights as a victim of a defective product, please contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys.