The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues hundreds of recalls of potentially unsafe products every year.

In 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that nearly 11 million people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by consumer products, most of which were assumed to be safe.

Our goals at The Swanson Law Group

At The Swanson Law Group, our number one goal is to make a connection with our clients so they know right away that we understand what they’re going through and that they’re not alone. Our second goal is to understand our client’s injuries so they can have access to excellent doctors to get them on the path to recovery. Contact us to schedule a free consultation if you’ve experienced serious injuries caused by a defective product. 

What recourse do consumers have when defective products cause injuries?

If you or your loved one has been injured by a dangerous product, you may have a product liability claim. You may be entitled to seek compensation from responsible parties for the losses you have suffered. Our San Jose personal injury attorneys will investigate your accident, determine fault and liability, and pursue a recovery on your behalf. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your damages may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages or earnings
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Permanent disability
  • Diminished quality of life

Who is liable for defective product injuries?

When a defective product causes serious injuries, potentially liable parties may include the manufacturer, the distributor, the wholesaler, or the retailer who sold the product. All parties in the chain of distribution may be held responsible in product liability cases. In connection with the manufacturer, these parties may include designers and engineers. “Strict liability” applies to product liability matters. This means you simply must show that the product was defective, without regard to intent or the degree of care exercised by the responsible party.

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What are the elements of a product liability claim against the commercial seller?

To prevail in a claim against the commercial seller for injuries caused by a defective product, you must establish the following:

  • The defendant sold a product that you used (or someone else used, causing injury to you)
  • The defendant is the commercial seller of the product
    You suffered an injury
  • The product was defective when the defendant sold it
  • The defect was the actual and proximate (immediate) cause of your injury

What if you are not the person who purchased the defective product?

To have a product liability claim against responsible parties, you do not have to be the actual buyer or owner of the defective product. You could claim damages for injuries caused by a product you borrowed from someone else.

Neither do you have to be the one who was using the product at the time you were injured. For example, if a part flew off a defective tool your friend was using and injured your eye, you could still have a valid product liability claim for injuries caused by the defective tool. 

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What types of product defects can create liability?

Manufacturers and suppliers can be held liable for three distinct types of defects in consumer products:

  • Design defects: Certain products may be dangerous to use because of flaws inherent in their design. These are defects that exist before the product is manufactured.
  • Manufacturing defects: Product defects can occur during the manufacturing process, when the item is constructed or produced. Generally, when manufacturing defects occur, only a few out of many products have the same type of flaw.
  • Marketing defects: This type of defect involves failure to warn consumers of dangers in the product, or when improper instructions for its use are provided.

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