When you buy a product online or at a retail establishment, you reasonably assume it is safe to use as intended. You also expect that it will include instructions about proper use as well as any dangerous uses. If a product is defectively designed or poorly manufactured, however, you could suffer serious harm.
After a person is injured by a defective product, it is not uncommon for the manufacturer or seller of the product to claim that the victim’s injuries were the result of their own negligence. That is why it is crucial to hire a product liability lawyer who understands how to gather evidence and build a strong case to support your claim. An experienced attorney will know how to hold the manufacturer, supplier, retailer or any other responsible entity in the chain accountable for their negligence.
Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., has helped South Carolina residents with product liability claims for more than three decades. To discuss how we can help you, contact us today. We can provide a free consultation through our conveniently located office in Manning.
How Our Product Liability Attorneys Can Help You
The first thing that our attorneys can do for you is to conduct an independent investigation to determine if you have a valid product defect claim. Our team can examine the product involved, identify the nature of the defect that caused you harm and pursue compensation from the liable party.
A product liability action in South Carolina is usually based on one of three legal claims:
- Manufacturing defect — Some kind of error occurred in the creation of a product, which made it defective. In most cases, manufacturing defects are limited to single products or limited batches of products.
- Design defect — An error in the actual design of a product made the product defective. This type of defect is more likely to become a mass tort or class action lawsuit because defective designs potentially impact every person who purchased the product.
- Marketing or advertising defect — This type of defect usually involves a manufacturer failing to include instructions about a product’s use, provide necessary warnings about dangerous applications or, in the case of medications, information about potentially dangerous side effects. These types of defects also have the potential to harm all users of a product.
Under S.C. Code § 15-73-10, any person or business that sells a product in a defective condition that is dangerous to the consumer or their property could be held liable for injuries that the product causes. As long as the product’s condition was not “substantially changed” after the consumer bought it, the consumer could have a valid product liability claim. However, a consumer could be barred from seeking compensation if the consumer discovered the defect and became aware that the product was dangerous but decided to use it anyway.
South Carolina has strict liability laws that exist to help injured consumers hold negligent manufacturers and distributors accountable for injuries caused by their products. Companies owe consumers a “higher standard of care” and must demonstrate that they were not negligent. In product liability cases in South Carolina, the injured party must show:
- The consumer suffered injury while using the product.
- The injury occurred because the product was in a defective condition, or unreasonably dangerous to the consumer.
- At the time of the accident, the product was in essentially the same condition as it was when it left the defendant’s possession.
If you were not harmed in any way by the product, even if it is defective or dangerous, you would have no grounds to sue the manufacturer.
Dangerous and Defective Products Cases
In reality, any product is capable of being defective. However, certain types of products are more common causes of product liability actions than others.
Some of the most common items involved in product liability claims include, but are not limited to:
- Children’s toys
- Motor vehicle parts
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Medical devices
- Car seats
- Construction tools or equipment
- Recreational vehicles (ATVs, electric scooters, bicycles, hoverboards).
The manufacturer is typically the party that is liable for defective product injuries. Still, sellers, retailers, wholesalers or distributors are other parties in the chain of distribution that could also be liable in some defective products cases.
What To Do After You Are Injured by a Defective Product
If you or your loved one is injured by a defective product, you should immediately seek medical attention. You should do this even when you do not think that anybody was hurt. A doctor will know how to examine you, order tests and determine whether you have suffered harm. The doctor can also start your treatment.
Remember that some injuries have delayed symptoms. If you wait several days or weeks to see a doctor, an insurance company will likely claim that the delay in getting treatment is evidence that your injuries were not severe or caused by the product.
Be sure to save whatever remains of your defective product. If you have the original packaging or receipt, be sure to save those items, too. Make sure to store the defective product somewhere safe where no one else can be harmed by it.
Finally, make sure that you contact an attorney before you say anything to a company representative or an insurance company.
Keep in mind: You can help to prevent others from being harmed by defective products by reporting defects to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Additionally, if you suffer harm from products which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, you can report the “adverse event” to the FDA’s MedWatch program. Products which the FDA regulates include prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, medical devices, special nutritional products, cosmetics and food and beverages.
Our South Carolina Defective Product Attorneys Can Help You
Did you suffer catastrophic injuries, or was your loved one killed by a dangerous or defective product in South Carolina? The product liability attorneys of Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., want to help you. We have more than 120 years of combined legal experience, and our clients trust us with their product liability claims because of our skill, compassion and determination to get results. To learn more, contact us today and receive a free review of your case.