Consumer products touch just about every aspect of one’s life, whether you are at work, at home, in transit, or enjoy leisure time. We all use a variety of manufactured goods with little to no thought as to the dangers those goods could pose to our well-being. Sadly, defective goods can lead to severe injuries or even death. Companies that design, manufacture, and sell items have an obligation to make sure those items are safe or at least warn of any important dangers. When a company fails to do so, consumers may have a solid case of product liability in Greenville, South Carolina, and the companies must compensate victims for defective goods.
A dedicated product liability lawyer in Greenville, SC, will help those who have suffered severe injuries due to unsafe products by fighting for fair and maximum compensation.
Lawsuits for Product Liability in Greenville, South Carolina
There are those companies that opt to put profits ahead of the public’s safety, often rushing goods to market without carrying out the necessary safety tests. There are also those companies that opt for less safe and less expensive design alternatives in an attempt to save money. In other cases, a manufacturer’s production line may not have the right quality control processes in place which results in dangerously defective goods heading to the market.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are items that are inherently unsafe but also useful, such as power tools. In such cases, these products may lead to a product liability lawsuit if the manufacturer does not warn of the dangers of the product or neglects to provide complete instructions on how to safely use the product. There are three core types of product liability cases that tend to lead to lawsuits in South Carolina, including:
Failure to warn
When a product is inherently hazardous because it possesses dangerous characteristics that are necessary for the product to work. In such instances, liability may arise when the manufacturer or retailer does not adequately warn buyers about the dangers or fails to provide proper instructions on how to use the product.
This occurs when a product is designed to be relatively safe, but there was a flaw during manufacturing that resulted in the units being dangerous.
This occurs when an item is inherently dangerous due to the way it is designed and not due to a manufacturing defect.
When one suffers an injury due to a defective product, the law permits them to sue for damages and losses. One may bring a lawsuit against the retailer, the wholesaler, and the manufacturers. Under our laws, sellers and manufacturers of faulty products may be held liable for damages and injuries that result from a defective item.
In a product liability lawsuit in Greenville, South Carolina, it is important to establish that the product’s defect was the cause of one’s injury. Hence, it is vital that you preserve the product in the condition it was in when your injuries occurred, and you should have s inspect the item to determine how it could have been rendered safer for customers.
Common Items That Result in a South Carolina Product Liability Lawsuit
While any faulty or mislabeled product can result in severe injuries, there are a number of categories that tend to be more subject to lawsuits than others, for instance:
- Cars and recreational vehicles
- Over-the-counter and prescription drugs
- Heavy machinery
- Medical devices
- Power tools
- Electrical devices
- Construction materials
- Children’s products
- Garden tools
Who May Be Held Liable in a Defective Product Suit?
While most of us may be quick to blame the manufacturer for product faults, there may well be a number of parties that can be held liable for injuries sustained from faulty items. It should be noted that it can be difficult to identify all of the at-fault parties, though, which is why it is important to seek assistance from a dedicated Greenville, South Carolina personal injury lawyer who will gather evidence for your case and file a claim against potentially responsible parties to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
One of the best ways to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your case is to identify all the at-fault parties who were involved in the creation, the distribution, and even the marketing of the item.
The three entities that are most often involved include:
The manufacturer is often the first candidate for a product liability lawsuit. There are instances where there could even be more than one manufacturer responsible for a person’s injuries. For example, if the faulty product is part of a bigger product, such as a laptop battery that explodes while charging, then one must sue both the laptop manufacturer and the manufacturer of the battery.
If one thinks that additional parties may be involved in creating a faulty item, it is important to list the parties in the compensation claim. So, in the case of the laptop battery that overheats and explodes, one would bring a claim against the laptop manufacturer, the battery manufacturer, the designer, and the team in charge of quality control. If the laptop user further suspects that the overheating incident may have been avoided with sufficient warning, one could file a claim against any technical s who were responsible for creating written warnings and instructions for the product.
The Distributor or Wholesaler
One may also be able to bring a claim against any involved middlemen, such as distributors and wholesalers. While the consumer’s injuries may not really be a distributor or retailer’s fault, each person involved in a product’s chain of distribution may have affected responsibility by being involved with the faulty product.
In addition to suing all relevant parties, one may also have the opportunity to file a product liability claim in Greenville, South Carolina against the retailer from whom you bought the product. Even though injuries sustained from a faulty item are not necessarily a retailer’s fault, you may sue them just for selling a defective item. There are three things to remember when one wants to sue the retailer, namely that you may not be successful in recovering damages for used items, you do not have to be the user of the product to sue but merely injured when the item was in use, and you do not actually have to be the buyer to bring a case against a retailer for a defective product.
How to Prove Liability in the Case of a Defective Product
To hold someone accountable for injuries related to a defective product, one must prove that the at-fault parties were negligent in some way and that the negligence resulted in injuries. But, when it comes to dealing with faulty products, it can be both complex and costly for one to show how and when a manufacturer acted negligently when creating a product.
If you wish to file a claim against a distributor or retailer, keep in mind that you will need to prove that the party failed to implement an effective system to check products before they went to market. Also, neither a customer, distributor, nor retailer can be expected to test every product. For these reasons, there is a “strict liability” law in place that allows the injured person to sue a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer based on the grounds that they were injured by the item. One does not have to prove negligence.
Strict liability has three key rules, namely:
- The item has not been significantly changed from the condition in which it was purchased
- The fault caused the injuries while the product was in use and in such a way as it was intended to be used
- The product had an unreasonably hazardous fault the led to your injuries
It ought to be noted that even though one must only prove that the injuries were the result of the faulty product, attempting to file a claim alone can be a daunting task. A product liability lawyer can help you evaluate all the evidence around the claim, identify the responsible parties, and make sure you receive fair and full compensation for your injuries.
Can I Hold a Company Liable for Failing for Not Taking Action in My Product Liability Case?
The answer to this question is yes. Manufacturers have an obligation to protect customers, and that does not end with the sale of an item. The law in South Carolina states that manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of any dangers after the sale of a product. If the company discovers that the product has dangerous propensities once the product has hit the market and has been used by customers who are injured, the company must take reasonable measures to warn both previous and future consumers of the hazards. In certain instances, a mere warning is not sufficient, and the product may be recalled from the market. Manufacturers that fail to recall an item or provide after-market warnings may be held liable for product liability in Greenville, South Carolina.
How Can a Product be Deemed Defective for a Lawsuit?
As discussed earlier, the state recognizes three different categories in terms of product defects. A product is considered defective in design, manufacturer, or in its warnings, instructions, and labels. A product does not necessarily have to be defective in all three ways for one to bring a product liability lawsuit. But, you may allege that the product that caused your injuries was faulty in a number of ways and then include claims of defective manufacturing, defective design, and the failure to warn, or a combination of the three, in your lawsuit.
Is Every Single Product Subject to the Laws on Liability in the State?
Yes. Nearly every single item of personal property that is produced and made available for a person, governmental entity, or organization to buy is subject to the laws on product liability in Greenville, South Carolina. It makes no difference whether the product was sold by a wholesaler or a retailer, and it also does not matter if the product was bought directly from a manufacturer.
Further, manufacturers may be held accountable for any injuries caused by faulty products regardless of the purchase by or sale to the consumer. Once the faulty product does enter the commerce stream, a manufacturer ultimately assumes that risk of liability to the people the product may harm.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit?
There is a statute that establishes the maximum period of time one has to file a lawsuit of product liability in Greenville, South Carolina. It is important, if you are considering bringing a claim, that you seek legal advice from a product liability lawyer about how long you have to file a lawsuit. In our state, the statute of limitations, or time period, in which one must bring a case after a product is manufactured or sold in three years from the date of the injury. Determining a statute of limitations deadline can be a complex task which is why it is important to seek early legal counsel from a product liability lawyer. It is important to remember, too, that this time period is finite and, often, very short, which is why immediate action is necessary so as to protect your legal rights and seek compensation.
Book a Consultation with a Greenville Product Liability Lawyer Today
Consumers in our state who have been injured by a defective product as the result of another party’s negligence should book a consultation with a South Carolina product liability lawyer at Brumback & Langley, LLC today. We have the experience and know-how to go up against negligent distributors of manufacturers and will help you prove that the defective product caused your injuries and therefore fight for the compensation you deserve. Book a consultation with our product liability lawyer to discuss your legal rights and to bring a product liability suit against the relevant parties. Call (864)-326-0424 today!