Charleston Product Liability Lawyer
We give implicit trust to the products and tools we use every day. But sometimes, that trust can lead to serious injuries and even death. In South Carolina, consumers are protected from defective or improperly labeled products with strict product liability laws. If companies break these laws resulting in injury or damages, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for sizable compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact a personal injury attorney at theMax Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC in Charleston, South Carolina and speak to a product liability attorney to explore your legal options regarding liability lawsuits.
What is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the set of rules and regulations which determine who is responsible for defective or dangerous products. For example, if someone suffers damages due to the use of a defective product, product liability laws make it easier for that victim to pursue damages against the responsible party.
Examples of Products with Product Liability Issues
Although all products are subject to product liability laws, these common products typically experience the most defective product lawsuits.
- Automobiles, which may have defective parts or an inherently defective design flaw.
- Consumer electronics, such as smartphones, which may have improperly installed circuitry or voltage regulations, leading to damaged and exploding batteries.
- Pharmaceutical products that are improperly labeled leading to serious injury.
- Children’s products, such as cribs and car seats with manufacturing errors or untested pinch points.
Product Liability Laws in Charleston
In Charleston, product liability is enforced by South Carolina state code § 15-73-10:
(1) One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability for physical harm caused to the ultimate user or consumer, or to his property, if
(a) The seller is engaged in the business of selling such a product, and
(b) It is expected to and does reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it is sold.
(2) The rule stated in subsection (1) shall apply although
(a) The seller has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of his product, and
(b) The user or consumer has not bought the product from or entered into any contractual relation with the seller.
Additionally, there are also many statutes of limitations to take into consideration if you are thinking of filing a product liability claim. According to South Carolina code § 15-3-530 (5), you have three years from the date of the injury or from the date you discovered that a defective product was the cause of your injury, whichever is sooner.
If you have questions about any of these laws, speak to a Charleston product liability lawyer now.
Types of Product Liability Claims in South Carolina
Although we generally consider defective products to be the catch-all for product liability, there are actually three distinct categories of product liability:
- Defective manufacture. This is a form of product liability that involves products that were improperly manufactured at the factory. These defects are due to an error during the building process, leading to inconsistencies between this and all other products.
- Defective design. This refers to products that are dangerous or injury-causing due to inherent flaws in their design. Defective designs aren’t caused by any manufacturing errors, but rather persist through the whole product line due to poor design.
- Failure to warn. This type of product liability is not as well-known but can be equally dangerous. Some products, such as cosmetic products and over-the-counter medicines, are required to have labels or other indications that improper use of the product may result in serious injury or death. Failure to have any of these notifications can be grounds for a product liability claim.
How Do You Prove Product Liability
A product liability claim cannot be filed for any injury or damages incurred due to a product. You must be able to prove the following in order to have a valid product liability claim.
- You were injured or suffered losses. If the use of a defective product has injured you, or a defect in the product caused significant monetary losses, then you may have a valid claim.
- The product is defective. Whether it’s an error in manufacturing, a design flaw, or is not properly labeled, the product must fall within the categories of product liability.
- The defect led to your injury/damages. Being injured while using a defective product does not warrant a valid claim. You must be able to clearly demonstrate that the specific defect led to your injury.
- You were using the product as it was originally intended. A product liability claim may not be valid if you were using the product in a way that was not originally intended by the manufacturers. Essentially, if the manufacturer could reasonably expect any common person to use the product in the same manner, you may fit this requirement.
If you’ve suffered an injury at the hands of a defective product and the incident meets all four requirements, you may have a valid claim against the manufacturer and may be eligible for significant compensation. Talk to a product defect lawyer to find out if you have a case.
Who is Liable?
Due to how many different parties “touch” the product, a large number of parties may be held liable for the defective product.
- The manufacturer of the product is the primary party that may be responsible for the defective product.
- Any outside parties or consultants that aided in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of the product may also be held liable. For example, a third-party factory contracted by the company to fabricate the actual products may be held liable in addition to the company.
- In some cases, the retailer who stocked the product may be held liable for damages as well. These are circumstances of negligence rather than strict liability, cases where a retailer continues to sell a product despite it being known as dangerous. For example, a store who continues to stock recalled products on their shelves may be responsible for damages incurred by those sold products.
- A wholesaler or distributor may also be liable for much of the same reasons detailed for retailers.
In cases where multiple parties share liability, it’s highly recommended to consult a skilled product liability lawyer. They can sort through the complexities and give you a great idea of the responsible parties in a product liability lawsuit.
Contact a Charleston Product Liability Lawyer for Maximum Compensation
If you’ve been a victim of serious injuries or any damages due to a defective product, contact the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC. Based out of Charleston, we are here to assist all residents of South Carolina in their product liability claims. Our Charleston product liability attorneys have the knowledge to successfully settle most claims before they go to trial – but also the experience and confidence to take on the largest corporations if necessary to secure maximum compensation.
Product liability claims can be a complex process which requires strong planning and an aggressive strategy. Contact us today for a free consultation to help you navigate your legal options.