If you have been injured by a defective or faulty product and are looking to recover damages, chances are you are wondering how to prove that the product was in a defective condition when it left the manufacturer’s possession.
California strict product liability laws require the plaintiff (injured party) to establish three elements when filing a product liability claim in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California:
- The product was used in a reasonably foreseeable manner, as intended or instructed;
- The product was already defective before you purchased it or before it got into your hands, and you did not alter or modify it in any way; and
- The alleged defect was the actual or proximate cause of your injuries, harm, and damages.
Proving that the defect existed before you began using the product
So how do you prove that the product was defective before your first use? This may not be as easy as it may seem, especially if you are not represented by a Los Angeles product liability attorney.
Most manufacturers are wealthy, multi-million or multi-billion dollar companies who can afford top defense lawyers. And you can rest assured – they will do whatever it takes to prove you wrong to either reduce the value of your compensation or escape liability altogether.
“If you fail to properly and sufficiently establish that the product was defective before it left the manufacturer’s possession, the defendants may mount the “modification and misuse” defense to invalidate your claim,” warns our product liability attorney in Los Angeles at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg.
Let’s review some of the most effective ways to prove that the defective product was in a defective condition before it came into your possession.
How to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession?
Best product liability lawyers in California retain qualified experts who can establish that a product had defective parts, components or was defective by design before its first use. More often than not, product liability cases require witness testimony from mechanical engineering experts and other experts depending on the circumstances of a specific case.
In order to prove that one particular product was defective and that it was in a defective condition before it got into a consumer’s hands, qualified experts will examine the product and its defect and compare it to other products from the same line of products. A product may be defective due to a manufacturing error or design defect (in the latter case, the entire line of products may be considered inherently unsafe and dangerous).
“When a defective product is examined by an expert in the field, the evaluation will show whether or not the defect was something that was created by the negligence on the part of the manufacturer, retailer, or other parties in the chain of distribution,” says our Los Angeles product liability attorney. “Also, this will rule out the possibility that the defect was caused by the plaintiff’s alteration, modification or misuse of the product.”
This type of examination will also prove that the defect was not caused by any external or internal damage to the product. Many manufacturers attempt to avoid responsibility in product liability cases by arguing that their product, which the injured plaintiff claims to be defective, was damaged and made defective by the plaintiff. An expert can easily establish whether or not the product was damaged as a result of a fall, excessive force, exposure to water, or other factors.
Other manufacturers argue that the plaintiff modified or altered the product, making it defective or faulty. An expert can easily prove or disprove this theory by examining signs or marks indicating that the product was modified, altered or in any other way handled not as intended.
In some cases, proving that the product was defective before it came into your possession may require interviewing witnesses, including but not limited to sellers and distributors or other parties who can prove that the product was or seemed defective before the plaintiff purchased it.
Depending on the circumstances in your particular case, only a skilled product liability lawyer in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California will help you establish that the product had a defect when it left the manufacturer’s possession. Schedule a free consultation by contacting the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 or fill out this contact form.