Product Liability Attorneys in Columbia, SC
You purchase, use, and rely on manufacturer’s products every day. When you invest your hard earned income into a product, you have a right to expect those products to function properly and not put your safety or health in jeopardy. It’s a sad fact that many companies put profits before consumer interests and serious accidents and injuries can occur.
There are a great number of product liability complaints filed every year. Examples of these are poorly designed appliances and machinery that cause thousands of unnecessary injuries each year. Faulty infant equipment and toys can bring tragedy to a young family. Medical devices that don’t function as advertised or cause harm beyond the issues they were designed to address.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may have a products liability claim. If a faulty product results in death, a wrongful death action is available. The knowledgeable and experienced South Carolina products liability attorneys at Peake & Fowler have more than 100 years of combined experience helping clients pursue damages in personal injury cases.
Types of Defective Products Cases
When you buy something in a store or while at work performing your job, you expect that products will be reasonably safe and effective if you use them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, flaws in design, manufacturing, or unclear instructions for use can cause harm or even death.
Product liability refers to the liability that a manufacturer, retailer, supplier or other provider of a product or service may have for the damages or injuries caused by that product or service. Some of the most common types of products liability claims include those that deal with:
- Heavy Machinery
- Children’s Toys and Equipment
- Motor Vehicles (seat belt failure or defective auto parts)
- Consumer Products
- Medical Equipment and Devices
- Food Safety
What Constitutes a Products Liability Claim?
If you have suffered an injury, lost a loved one, or had property damage from the use of a product, you may have a product liability claim. For one of these cases to be valid, we must be able to prove several things:
- You were injured or had other damages
- The design, manufacturing, or labeling of the product was defective or deficient.
- The defect or deficiency resulted in the injury or damages
- You used the product for its intended purpose
Most products liability cases fall into three categories of liability: (1) defective manufacturing, (2) defective design, and (3) defective marketing. Understanding these areas can help both you and your legal representative determine the validity of your case as well as the best strategy to prove negligence. In order to determine if you fall into one of these three categories, it is important to contact an experienced South Carolina products liability attorney as soon as possible.
Defectively Manufactured Product
The most common and obvious type of products liability claim occurs when a product has a flaw that occurred during the manufacturing process. When a manufacturer makes an error manufacturing a product, either through the use of subpar materials or faulty machinery, the results can cause injury or even death.
Examples of manufacturing defects include:
- Food with foreign objects or other harmful additives
- A baby crib with weak or cracked brackets
- A short-circuit on a factory’s safety cut-off system
In each of these cases, a serious accident could result from the manufacturing defect.
Defectively Designed Products
If the person or company that designs a product makes a mistake in that design, the results could be catastrophic. While a design error could be negligible, it could also result in the creation of a product that is dangerous. So, even if the manufacturer is creating the products according to specifications, there remains a products liability issue.
Examples of design defects include:
- A vehicle whose gas tank is prone to explosion upon impact
- Toys that contain choking hazards
- A cell phone that has a tendency to melt or catch fire
In many cases, you’ll find products like these subject to either voluntary or mandatory recalls.
Defective Marketing of Products
When a product isn’t marketed properly, there can be misunderstandings about either its intended use or how it should be safely operated. If a manufacturer or supplier fails to give instructions, makes false promises about a product, or fails to give adequate warning to a consumer, they could be held liable for resulting injuries.
Examples of marketing defects include:
- A corrosive household chemical sold without a warning label listing dangers and instructions for safe use.
- Failure to warn patients that a new medication can cause severe drowsiness if combined with some other common
How Product Recalls Work
Each year, there are hundreds of product recalls, many involving children’s toys or equipment. If a product isn’t manufactured or designed properly, it might be recalled.
The government regulates consumer products and oversees their safety. For example, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a government agency that is responsible for creating and enforcing motor vehicle safety standards. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is the agency that oversees standards for consumer products.
Just because a product was recalled, that doesn’t necessarily create a valid products liability claim. The courts will probably allow evidence that there was as recall to help establish that there was a defective product, but this doesn’t automatically create liability. The plaintiff must still prove that they were injured by the defective product.
If there was a product recall and the consumer failed to return the product, this also doesn’t necessarily bar a claim for injury. The manufacturer or supplier must show that adequate notice was given to consumers with clear instructions.
As you can see, the issues of injuries and damages connected to recalled products are complex. You can trust that the skilled and aggressive products liability attorneys at Peake & Fowler will protect your rights in these cases and work tirelessly to pursue justice in your case.
Compensation Our Products Liability Attorneys Can Pursue
At Peake & Fowler, we view every Products Liability case as unique. This means that the compensation you may be entitled to recover depends on the particular circumstances of your case. In most products liability cases, we can recover compensation for such things as:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses (if there is a wrongful death case)
The Columbia products liability attorneys at Peake & Fowler will be your aggressive advocates if you’ve been the victim of a faulty product. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we won’t charge you a fee unless we are successful in your case. Contact us at 803-788-4370 to schedule a free consultation.
Peake & Fowler Law Firm, P.A., is located in Columbia, SC and serves clients in and around Newberry, Lexington, Sumter, Allendale, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Bishopville, Florence, Blythewood, State Park, Eastover, Columbia, Elgin, Irmo, Hopkins, Ridgeway, Lugoff, Ballentine, West Columbia, Kershaw, Camden, Dusty Bend, and Richland County, Lexington County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Fairfield County, Lee County, Clarendon County and Florence County.