Product Liability vs Personal Injury: Difference EXPLAINED

By: JML Law | March 2, 2018.
Product Liability vs Personal Injury: Difference EXPLAINED

Let’s imagine for a second that you decided that you wanted to be cool like the rest of the Millennials and purchased a fancy e-cigarette to vape and blow those massive clouds of smoke.

You purchased the product and decided to blow your first dense smoke cloud, but it didn’t go too well… For some reason, the electronic cigarette caught fire and caused you to burn injuries and disfigurement.

Clearly, you have a product liability case on your hands. But how do you seek damages? And what’s the difference between product liability and personal injury? Today, our Riverside personal injury attorney at JML Law is going to explain it all.

What is personal injury

Even though product liability and personal injury laws have slightly different concepts, they intertwine and serve one common purpose: to protect the rights of the injured and entitle injured people to compensation.

What is personal injury, anyway? According to federal and California state laws, “personal injury” refers to any injury or trauma of the human body, mind or emotions. Our lawyers explain that a personal injury claim refers to a type of tort lawsuit.

If you’ve been injured by a defective product – such as the e-cigarette from our example above – you may be entitled to compensation if strict liability applies and you can prove negligence.

While it seems crystal clear that you did nothing wrong and the manufacturer was clearly to blame for your injuries, California laws still require you to prove (a) negligence on the part of the manufacturer and other parties in the distribution chain, and (b) that the product was used in a foreseeably reasonable way.

In most cases, it’s advised to seek the legal help of a Riverside personal injury lawyer to prove these two elements of a claim and seek compensation for your injuries and damages.

Before scheduling a free consultation with an attorney at JML Law, make sure you seek medical attention and ensure that doctors and nurses write a detailed emergency report to document your injuries properly.

What does product liability mean in California

Under product liability laws in California, you’re entitled to hold manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, sellers, retailers and other parties in the distribution chain responsible for your injuries and damages caused by defective products.

Fact: each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer injuries when using defective products. And thousands of others die every year.

Our best product liability attorney in Riverside outlines four types of claims that are commonly filed within the product liability realm in California:

  1. Negligence
  2. Strict liability
  3. Breach of warranty
  4. Consumer protection claims.

There can be three major liability claims associated with product liability cases in the U.S.:

  1. Manufacturing defect: the product was defective before it left the possession of the manufacturer or other parties in the distribution chain.
  2. Design defect: the way the product was designed makes it dangerous or deadly.
  3. Failure to warn of the defect: lack of adequate warning about potential risks associated with using the product or certain of its components or parts.

How to file a product liability claim

The process of filing a product liability claim depends on whether or not your case fits under the legal doctrine of “strict liability.” Our Riverside product liability lawyers at JML Law explain that if you make a claim of strict liability, you will not be legally required to prove any instance of negligence on the part of the manufacturer.

However, in order to file a product liability claim alleging strict liability, you will be required to prove the following in the first place:

  1. The defective product has a dangerous defect that injured you
  2. You used the product in a “foreseeably reasonable way” and in accordance with the instructions
  3. The product had not been altered from the condition in which it was manufactured.

These three elements of strict liability may be tough to prove on your own, which is why it’s vital to seek legal help from a product liability attorney. Statistics shows that consumers who are legally represented have a higher percentage of victories in and outside of court in product liability cases, not to mention that the value of their settlements is typically much higher.

Contact JML Law to get a free consultation today. Call our offices at 818-610-8800 or send us an email.

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