What is 'strict liability' in a defective products case?
Unlike other personal injury cases, which are usually "negligence" cases, personal injury cases involving defective products are decided under what is called a strict liability standard. Many decades ago, California was actually a pioneer state in establishing this legal standard for product liability cases.
As the name implies, "strict liability" means that if a company made, designed, or distributed a dangerous product, then they will be financially accountable for the injuries that product causes. In other words, unlike other personal injury cases, a manufacturer cannot hide behind the fact that it took reasonable precautions to avoid harming someone, such as by taking steps to make or design a safe product.
The logic is manufacturers, distributers, and others who handle the product in the course of business are far and away in the best position to make sure products that go out in to the homes of Riverside, California, residents are safe, and so they in effect the lion's share of responsibility to make sure consumer safety comes first, ahead of making profit.
The strict liability standard does not mean an injured Californian can simply walk in to court and expect to collect money, however. For one, the injured person still has to prove the dangerous product legally caused his or her injuries and must also document the actual costs of his or her injuries, costs that can include things like medical bills and lost income. Also, a manufacturer may raise legal defenses to the claim, such as that the product had been altered significantly or that it was being used improperly.
Fortunately, California consumers who get hurt because of a defective product can benefit by the strict liability standard which covers many defective product claims in this state. However, these sorts of cases are still complicated and may be best addressed with the help of an experienced products liability attorney in the Riverside area.