Over 70 Years Of Combined Experience
At Easton & Easton, LLP, we have a combined 70 years of experience in representing injured people in product liability claims. In the mid 1970’s, Doug Easton argued Ault vs. International Harvish before the California Supreme Court, a seminal case establishing that evidence of a remedial change in a product can be used to help establish that the original product was defective.
We have successfully represented people in complex automobile design cases involving roof crush and resultant quadriplegic, and in roll-overs causing occupant ejection from the vehicle. We have successfully represented people in accidents involving exploding gas tanks and seat belts that failed to restrain the occupant. We have successfully represented people injured by air bags that deployed when they should not causing deafness and air bags that did not deploy when they should allowing more serious injuries to occur. We have successfully represented people in many other products liability cases involving defective medical devices, consumer products, drugs, and machines.
Our approach to every claim for damages we accept in Orange County is helping our client maximize their recovery in the shortest possible timeframe. Success with your case may require confronting a major corporation with a robust in-house legal department, and our counsel can help you feel more confident about your options moving forward.
We know how to hold negligent manufacturers accountable for the harm they cause. You have a limited time in which to pursue compensation for your damages, so the sooner you contact our firm, the more time and flexibility we will have to address your unique concerns as your case unfolds. Our firm can ensure your case meets all procedural requirements with the court, and you can trust us to uncover every channel of compensation available in your case.
How Is a Product Defective?
Anyone considering pursuing a product liability claim must understand what this type of claim entails. The legal definition of a defective product is any product that fails to perform its intended use or presents an extraordinary risk of harm to the user with normal use. Defective product claims may also pertain to products that were improperly or inaccurately marketed, included incomplete or insufficient instructions and/or safety warnings.
Generally, there are three types of defects considered in product liability claims:
- A product is defective by design if there is a serious flaw in the original plans for the product. An infamous example of defective design is the Ford Pinto’s rear-placed gas tank that would explode in rear-end collisions. If a product liability claim involves a defective design, this usually indicates that all products made using the faulty design are potentially dangerous.
- Products can be defective by production if some error occurred with the materials or assembly of the product. For example, a company buys raw material for its product from Supplier A with no problems and then switches to Supplier B to save on production costs. The raw materials from Supplier B result in less sturdy products that break and harm customers. Production defects typically affect lots of units.
- Defective marketing could lead to a product liability claim if the manufacturer failed to provide clear safety warnings and instructions for use with the product. This can also apply in the event
If any of these defects result in harm to a consumer, that injured consumer has the right to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or other entities in the supply chain of the product to recoup their damages.
Potential Damages in a California Product Liability Injuries Claim
Product liability law falls under personal injury law, and companies that manufacture consumer products are just as able to absorb liability in a personal injury case as any individual. Damages available in a product liability claim align with the damages typically sought in most other personal injury claims:
- When a defective product causes physical injury or illness, the injured consumer has the right to claim compensation for any and all medical expenses incurred from the incident. This applies to both immediate medical expenses such as hospital bills and ambulance fees and future medical expenses the victim is likely to incur for necessary ongoing and/or long-term treatments.
- Defective product injuries may force victims to stay home from work while they recover. This means they cannot earn income and may even face lost earning potential in the future if they cannot fully recover from their injuries.
- A product liability claim that causes physical injuries and other losses will also likely enable the victim to claim compensation for pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages are difficult to calculate and are typically awarded in proportion to the plaintiff’s claimed economic damages to reflect the severity of their experience.
- It is also possible to secure compensation for property damage if a defective product damaged a consumer’s home, vehicle, or other personal property.
These damages could easily amount to a significant sum in a product liability claim. If you or a loved one experienced such losses due to a defective consumer product, call our firm. It is essential to contact an experienced Orange County product liability injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Understanding Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Claims
The state upholds a pure comparative fault rule that applies to any civil claim in which more than one party shares fault for the damages cited in the claim. Under this rule, each liable party has a fault percentage assigned. These fault percentages indicate the share of damages each party must repay. It’s possible for multiple defendants to share liability, but it is also possible for a plaintiff to be found partially liable.
If a plaintiff is assigned a fault percentage, they will lose this percentage of their final case award. In a product liability claim, it is possible for the defendant to claim that the plaintiff did not use the product correctly or that they were otherwise negligent in a manner that contributed to causing the incident. Your CA defective products attorney can help prove the truth of the situation and minimize any fault percentage assigned to you.
What to Expect From a Product Liability Lawsuit in Orange County, California
When a consumer sustains injuries from a defective product, it is very likely that other consumers who purchased the same product have sustained similar injuries or are at risk of such injuries. Product liability claims often transform into class-action lawsuits involving many plaintiffs with similar damages taking legal action against a single defendant.
In a class-action suit, legal proceedings can progress much more quickly than many individual lawsuits could. Plaintiffs who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to take legal action on their own could join these class actions if they meet the appropriate criteria. It’s important for anyone considering joining a class-action lawsuit to understand the tradeoff that comes with expediency and limited legal fees. You can reach a settlement sooner with a class-action lawsuit, you will not receive as much compensation as you could have if you pursued an individual case.
An Orange County product liability injury lawyer can help you determine whether you are better off joining a class-action lawsuit or if your case is strong enough to stand on its own as an individual civil action. Most civil claims are settled outside of court. If you are bringing a solid product liability claim against a well-known manufacturer, they will likely want to settle the claim as quickly and quietly as possible.
Many product liability claims compel manufacturers to address design flaws, production issues, and misleading marketing materials to develop more accurately represented, functional, and safe products. When a company learns that one of their products has harmed an end user, they have a legal duty to investigate the matter and take remedial action as quickly as possible. Your product liability claim could potentially spur measurable change and prevent others from sustaining the same damages in the future.
Why Do I Need a Orange County Product Liability Lawyer?
You might think that hiring an Orange County product liability injury lawyer would amount to little more than money wasted on legal fees. However, it can actually cost you much more if you attempt to represent yourself in a product liability claim. If you attempt to settle without legal counsel, you will need to go up against the in-house legal team and/or outside counsel hired by the defendant, and this will likely not go well for you. It is best to consult with an experienced and reliable Orange County product liability injury lawyer as soon as possible rather than risk losing any chance of securing compensation for your damages.
An experienced team of Orange County product liability lawyers can help their clients gather the evidence needed to firmly establish liability, contesting any claims of comparative fault to preserve their client’s claim for compensation. When it comes to the damages in the claim, the right attorney can help their client maximize their total recovery, potentially securing compensation for damages the plaintiff didn’t realize were available to them.
Ultimately, hiring legal counsel for your defective product injury claim greatly increases your chance of success and the chance of maximizing your recovery as fully as state law allows. Easton & Easton will do everything we can to streamline your recovery, securing as much compensation as possible in the shortest timeframe possible. We’ll aim to settle the case if we can, but are fully prepared to represent you in litigation if necessary.
Q: How Do I Prove a Product Is Defective?
A: It is possible for a consumer product to be defective in various ways. If you are unsure how to prove that the product is indeed defective, Orange County product liability lawyers are your optimal resource. They can help determine whether the product includes a defective design, manufacturing defect, or incomplete or missing safety warnings and/or instructions for use.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for My Defective Product Injury?
A: Your personal injury case for a defective product injury may yield compensation for all the economic losses you suffered because of the incident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage if the product damaged your home, vehicle, or other property. Once you add pain and suffering compensation to this, you may discover your case is worth much more than you initially expected.
Q: Is It Better to Join a Class Action Suit Than to File an Individual Claim?
A: There are potential damages and drawbacks to joining a class action suit. You will have an easier time succeeding with your case and will not be required to play a very active role unless you agree to be a class representative. However, the tradeoff is a much lower final case award as you will split the proceeds with all the other plaintiffs in the class action. An individual claim will be more difficult to win but will yield a much greater case award.
Q: How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Personal Injury Case?
A: State law limits pain and suffering only in medical malpractice cases. For all other types of personal injuries, plaintiffs may claim as much as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm they suffered. Your CA defective products attorney can help determine a suitable figure based on the overall extent of the harm you experienced and your anticipated recovery time. If you suffered catastrophic injuries, you are likely to secure a substantial amount of pain and suffering compensation.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Product Liability Claim in Orange County?
A: A product liability claim is a form of personal injury claim, and there is a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in California. This time limit starts on the date your injury occurred, and if you do not submit your claim to the court within the statute of limitations, you will lose your chance to recover compensation from the defendant who caused your damages.
If you are ready to explore your legal options after suffering damages from a defective consumer product, Easton & Easton can assist you. Our team has more than 70 years of combined experience handling all types of difficult civil claims, including product liability lawsuits. Our experience allow us to seamlessly assess and coordinate medical care to make certain the full extent of our clients’ injuries are identified, treated, and provable.
We understand the tricks, stratagems, and defenses the insurance companies and their attorneys use to defeat or minimize a claim, and at Easton & Easton, LLP, we utilize our experience, skill, and dedication to make certain our clients do not fall victim to the insurance companies’ tricks and stratagems.
Talk to an Orange County product liability attorney at 800-461-8259 for a free initial consultation. If we do not take your case, there is no charge.