The product liability statute of limitations is a limit on how long you have to take legal action against a company for harm done to you by a faulty product. This can be of vast importance because you only have so long to take legal action. In the state of California the statue of limits for damages related to faulty products is two years. Now it is important to understand what is meant by product liability. This is not a product not meeting your expectations or something you simply returned to the store. Liability clearly defines some type of damage. This damage can be medical, injury related, and in some cases can cause financial loss.
According to The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission product liability cases accounted for seven percent of all personal injury lawsuits brought before the court in 2004. Toys, electronics, and automobiles are items that are commonly recalled. In 2006 there were a reported 220,500 toy related injuries. Dell computers had to recall several laptop batteries (200,000) in December 2005 due to fire concerns due to overheating. Lastly in 2006 popular automobile manufacture Toyota recalled over 1.4 million cars due to faulty components that caused increased safety hazards.
Product liability law generally covers three areas of liability manufactures have as it relates to their products. The first type is a design flaw. This type of liability is uncommon, as it requires a company to have released a product with a flawed or harmful design. Most companies test product designs before releasing them to the general public limiting the odds of this. However, as automobile recalls show that occasionally faulty components do make it not widespread use.
The second type is a manufacturing liability. There is a subtle difference between this and a design flaw. In manufacturing liability the design is sound but the execution is not. Many types of product liability cases relate to this as they are often caused by lack of quality controls during the manufacturing process or a flawed manufacturing process. In these cases products are often compared to other similar product types and the overall industry standards of manufacturing.
The final type is called failure to warn. This is defined as a company not being forthcoming with any known dangers in using their products. This usage can be common day-to-day usage or uses most of us would consider strange or abnormal. It is because of these types of cases that warnings such as ‘not for human consumption’ appear on non-food items.
When dealing with a hard time limit of two years many companies will try to start the statue of limitations time frame. Officially the statue of limitations starts when a consumer becomes aware (or should have been aware) that a product is defective. It is for these reasons that companies will often offer to replace an item without coming forward with the exact reasons why they are doing so. If you receive such a letter there will often not be any mention of any rights you have related to damages caused or your rights to file a lawsuit. The reasons for sending such a notification is because it starts the two-year time frame you have to file a case. If you later file a case past the two-year limit odds are good that it will be dismissed due to being outside the statue of limitations.
In matters of product liability an attorney is essential if you have been injured or financially affected by a faulty product. Despite rigorous testing and technological advancement faulty products still find their way onto the market. This is sadly unavoidable as no company is perfect. However, despite any lack of malice you are still entitled to compensation for a faulty product. Compensation can include lost wages, medical expenses, continuing care, and permanent alterations to your ability to make a living.
Remember you only have so long to file a lawsuit to regain the compensation you are rightly due. In the state of California you only have two years to make proper legal action. While on the surface this appears to be a long time it can take a great deal of item to do needed legal discovery and file the proper paperwork. With the assistance of an experienced attorney skilled in product law you can be sure that your claim is brought before the court in a timely and precise manner. By taking necessary and immediate action you can be sure you receive the compensation you are legal due.