Santa Barbara Defective Products Lawyers
Manufacturers have a duty to make products that are safe for their intended purpose or reasonably foreseeable uses. Too often, however - to the tune of thousands of product-related injuries and deaths each year - that duty takes a back seat to something corporations feel is more important: The duty they owe to their shareholders.
At NordstrandBlack PC, we know where our responsibilities lie and have been putting our clients and their needs first since we were established in 1993. Our practice is focused on Southern California and involves a wide range of both consumer and industrial products. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, call a Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer today at (805) 962-2022 to discuss your options.
While just about anything we buy and use can end up being defective, not everything that breaks or doesn't work right puts others in danger. Some products or equipment that can have dangerous defects include:
- Swimming pools and hot tubs
- Amusement park rides
- Playground equipment
- Home heating products
- Heavy machinery
- Auto parts
Manufacturers of products and owners of amusement parks or playgrounds have a responsibility to keep their customers as safe as reasonably possible. This means that manufacturers need to make sure products are tested to ensure they are safe and do not have any defects that can put consumers in danger. There are two major ways a manufacturer can keep customers safe beyond testing:
- Warnings: Some products are safe to use in a variety of ways, but have certain issues or designs that make other actions unsafe. For example, electric devices, especially those that plug into a wall outlet, are very dangerous around water. Manufacturers include warning labels and instructions to make sure customers know about these dangers and can use their products safely. If the manufacturer knows of a potential danger but fails to warn customers, this is a serious form of negligence.
- Recalls: When a product has a serious defect or issue that makes it unsafe to use in normal conditions, then the manufacturer should issue a recall on it. When a recall is issued, all the unsafe products that have been sold can be returned for full retail value at the manufacturer's expense. Some government agencies can force businesses to issue recalls, but these are quite rare; typically, the manufacturer issues a recall due to customer pressure and complaints. Failing to issue a recall when one is warranted can also be negligent and leave a company open to civil action.
A wide range of different injuries can occur due to defective products, depending on the nature of the device and how it is used. Some common types of injuries include:
- Burns: Electronic devices, in particular, are likely to cause some sort of burn when they are defective, either due to electric shock or combustion. Some defective phones, for example, have actually burst into flames when inside a person's pocket or purse, resulting in serious burns.
- Eye Injuries/Vision Loss: Injuries to the eyes can result in temporary or permanent vision loss. Items that explode or combust due to a defect can damage the eyes, especially if they are often used close to the face. If a product requires eye protection, but the manufacturer does not convey that information to customers, then such a failure can cause terrible injuries.
- Scarring: Any defective product that causes lacerations or cuts can result in scarring after the injury is treated and healed. Serious burns can leave lifelong scars, as can major lacerations. These scars can result in psychological trauma, especially if they are on a person's face or other visible area.
- Loss of Limb: Serious defects in certain products, such as motor vehicles or amusement park rides, can result in the loss of a person's limbs, also known as amputation. Such catastrophic injuries not only require extensive medical care and treatment, but can seriously impact a person's lifestyle.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can result in long-term pain, changes in lifestyle, and even paralysis. Failures by safety devices, especially in cars or other large equipment, can cause back and neck injuries that seriously damage the spine. Such an injury will often cause pain or disability for the rest of a person's life, and can even be fatal.
No pain is as traumatic as the loss of a loved one, especially a child. Sadly, defective products can kill. When this happens, the tragedy is only amplified by the fact that it was avoidable, if the manufacturer had taken proper steps to keep customers safe. No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one. Money damages from a civil lawsuit can help offset costs, however, and hold those who caused the death responsible for their negligence and disregard for the safety of others.
Defective product cases are governed by a complex area of the law that attorneys often refer to as "products liability," and claims are brought on the basis of legal theories known as "strict liability" and "negligence."
The first thing that must be done to protect your legal rights in a case like this is to preserve the product. It is also important to choose a law firm that has access to the appropriate types of experts and the financial resources needed to withstand well-funded defendants who may have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in the outcome.
We have those resources because we have a combined 60 years of experience successfully representing victims of negligence. We can offer you the kind of personal, face-to-face representation and service that many others either cannot, or do not, provide.
If you've been injured by a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, you deserve to have an experienced Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer representing you at all times. Here, you will. For a free consultation, call us directly at (805) 962-2022 or contact us online.
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- Consumer Product Safety Commission
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