Statute of Limitations for Product Liability in California

Statute of limitations for product liability in California

If you or your loved one was injured by a dangerous or defective product, California law allows you to hold the responsible company legally accountable through a product liability claim.

Under state law, injured victims only have a limited amount of time to file a product liability lawsuit.

If you or your loved one was injured because of a dangerous or defective product, it is imperative that you contact an experienced California product liability lawyer immediately. You do not want to lose out on your rights because you violated the statute of limitations.

Product Liability Statute of Limitations: California

A defective product is a product that was poorly designed, manufactured improperly, or that did not come with adequate warnings regarding the risks of use. Under California law, injured consumers can hold the responsible company legally liable for damages related to a defective product. This is done through a type of strict liability lawsuit called a product liability claim.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1, products liability claims generally must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. This is the statute of limitations. To be clear, a product liability lawsuit does not necessarily need to be fully resolved within this time frame — the claim must simply be initiated.

What happens if a plaintiff violates the products liability statute of limitations? In most cases, their lawsuit will be thrown out of court. The claim will not be heard on its merits, and the victim will be denied their right to seek financial compensation.

Injured victims must pay close attention to the California statute of limitations. The failure to comply could destroy your legal claim, preventing you from accessing the available remedies. If you were injured by a dangerous product in Southern California, you need to contact a Los Angeles product liability attorney as soon as possible.

Not only will your lawyer make sure that you comply with all procedural rules and deadlines, but your lawyer will also conduct a comprehensive investigation of your case — securing all of the evidence you need to hold the responsible company accountable.  

Are there Exceptions to the California Products Liability Statute of Limitations?

There are some limited exceptions to California’s product liability statute of limitations. First, it is worth considering the ‘discovery rule’. You have two years to bring a product liability lawsuit in California; however, there can sometimes be questions over when exactly that two-year clock actually starts to run.

In most cases, the statute of limitations begins running on the date that the victim suffered injuries. This is because, for the most part, dangerous product cause injuries that have an immediate effect. Of course, there are some exceptions.

For example, defective prescription drugs can cause internal injuries that, although they are incredibly serious, may not be immediately apparent to the victim. California’s discovery rule states that the two-year statute of limitations will not start until the victim actually knew or should have known about their injuries.

It is also worth mentioning that California has a three-year statute of limitations for property damage cases. Under California Code of Civil Procedure 388, you can seek compensation for property losses caused by a defective product for up to three years from the date of the incident.

Of course, if you were injured in an accident that also caused major property damage, you must be sure to bring your claim within the first two years — otherwise the personal injury aspect of your case will not be heard. You could miss out on substantial compensation.

Speak to Our Los Angeles Defective Product Claims Attorney Today

At Starpoint Law, our dedicated California product liability attorneys have the skills and experience needed to hold negligent companies accountable for dangerous products. If you have questions about the product liability statute of limitations or product liability law, we are ready to offer actionable guidance.

To get a free, strictly confidential review of your defective product claim, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today. With an office in Los Angeles, we represent clients throughout Southern California, including in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Ventura County.

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