Defective and dangerous products cause injuries throughout the United States every day. Although manufacturers have a duty to provide safe products to consumers, mistakes nevertheless occur. When a defective product causes an injury, regardless of the type of negligence, accident victims can bring a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Defective products can take many shapes and forms, but each must pose some kind of threat to consumers. A fan without a proper protective shield is an example, as is a playground swing with a broken chain. Defective prescription drugs and surgical implants are other types of harmful manufacturing error.
Any time a consumer product has a defect or design flaw that makes it hazardous to consumers, South Carolina law recognizes it as a product liability. There are three types of defective product liability claims available to citizens:
Manufacturing defects. These errors occur during a product’s assembly. Defective products have flaws that make them different – and more dangerous – than the other ones on the shelf. For example, an assembly line worker may accidentally contaminate a batch of children’s cough syrup with too much of one ingredient.
Design flaws. Sometimes a product is inherently dangerous due to poor design. Instead of an error occurring during manufacture, defectively designed products are hazardous right from the start. The entire line of products will be defective if there is a design flaw. An example is if a vehicle parts manufacturer designs an ignition switch that overheats and catches on fire.
Failure to provide adequate warning. Manufacturers must give adequate instruction or warnings when they are aware of potential hazards while using the product. Electrical items, for instance, should have a shock warning if the item contacts water.
No matter what type of defect a product has, an injured party will have grounds for a successful claim if they can prove their position with the four required elements.
How to Prove a Product Liability Claim
Manufacturers owe a higher standard of care to consumers to prevent injuries via defective or dangerous products as much as reasonably possible. Manufacturers must test a new product extensively for issues before putting it on the market and be prudent during assembly to ensure there are no harmful defects. When a manufacturer negligently fails in these duties, it can harm dozens or even hundreds of unsuspecting consumers. In such cases, the law is on the consumers’ side.
South Carolina has strict liability laws that help injured consumers win cases against negligent manufacturers and distributors. In some product liability cases, companies bear the burden of proof to show that they were not negligent because the manufacturers owe a higher standard of care. In a product liability case, a plaintiff only needs to show:
He/she suffered losses or injuries.
The product has a defect or is inherently dangerous.
The product’s defect caused the plaintiff’s losses or injuries.
He or she was using the product as intended at the time of injury.
These four elements are enough for the courts to approve your product liability claim. If you did not sustain an injury or personal loss, you do not have grounds to file a claim – even if you have proof that a product is defective. You may want to report the product’s defect to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to prevent possible injuries to others.
South Carolina Product Liability Lawyers You Can Trust
South Carolina consumers count on HawkLaw when they need legal representation to go up against a negligent product manufacturer or distributor. While the law is mostly on the consumer’s side, proving a defective product caused your injuries requires experienced litigation, investigation, and negotiation. To ensure you receive the settlement your losses deserve, trust a team of competent South Carolina product liability attorneys. Call 888-HAWKLAW to set up your free consultation* today.
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