When most people purchase an appliance, cleaning product, or toy, they assume that the product is safe. Yet, millions of people are treated in the emergency department each year for injuries caused by consumer products. These accident victims should not be responsible for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses they suffered because of defective products.
If you were injured by a defective product in SC, don’t hesitate to contact the respected legal team at The Melonakos Law Firm. We are committed to providing compassionate legal representation to injury victims and pursuing maximum compensation for their injuries. To learn more about your legal options for pursuing justice and accountability from those who hurt you, reach out to our office today for a free initial consultation.
What Is a Product Defect?
A product defect is a characteristic or flaw in a product that makes it dangerous to use, even when used as intended. Product liability is an area of the law that allows consumers to take legal action if they are injured by a defective product.
Types of Product Defects
Under product liability law, there are three types of product defects:
Design defects – A design defect is an inherent flaw in the way a product is designed that renders the product unreasonably dangerous for users. When defects are introduced in the design phase, products are considered defective before they are ever manufactured or assembled and may be dangerous even when manufactured perfectly. Each product manufactured using the same faulty design will be defective in the same way.
Manufacturing defects – A manufacturing defect is a flaw or abnormality introduced during the manufacturing or assembly of a product. When manufacturing defects occur, products are not made according to presumably safe design standards. These defects can happen when there are issues or anomalies during the manufacturing process, such as impurities, malfunctions, or human errors.
Defects in marketing – This defect occurs when a product reaches a consumer without sufficient instructions, warnings, or other labels as to its safe use. A properly designed and manufactured product may still be considered defective if it is missing the appropriate safety labels.
Defective Product Injuries
Defective products can injure consumers in various ways. They may not operate as intended, break into small pieces that create choking hazards, or lack necessary safety features to prevent injury. Some of the most common types of injuries caused by defective products in Greenville include:
Burns – Burns can occur when household electronics have faulty wiring, lack appropriate failsafes, or lack proper warning labels. Noxious cleaning products and certain topical pharmaceuticals can result in chemical burns.
Choking – Choking injuries and fatalities are sadly common among children. Many toddlers and young children place objects in their mouths and choke on hazardous or defective toys with dangerously small parts.
Drug injuries – Many consumer injuries occur due to dangerous or defective drugs, including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs. Common defective drug injuries include congenital disabilities, organ failure, and heart attacks.
Fractures – Fractures commonly occur when products break or collapse unexpectedly. This can include products like high chairs, pieces of furniture, bicycles, and swing sets.
Head injuries – Head injuries can be particularly devastating as they may result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Common causes of head injuries include defective motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, and helmets.
Types of Defective Product Lawsuits
There are three main approaches to defective product lawsuits that victims can take to hold manufacturers and other parties accountable. They are:
Negligence-based lawsuits – In a negligence-based suit, a victim must show that negligence occurred in the design or manufacture of the product and that the negligent design or manufacture directly contributed to their injuries. To establish negligence, the victim must demonstrate that the manufacturer or designer failed in their legal obligation to create or sell a safe product.
Strict liability lawsuits – Most product liability lawsuits are based on the theory of strict liability, which states that manufacturers can be held liable for consumer injuries caused by defective products, regardless of manufacturer negligence. In a strict liability lawsuit, the victim need only prove that a product defect exists and that the defect was the direct or proximate cause of injury.
Breach of warranty lawsuits – An express warranty is an explicit guarantee or representation of a product’s safety from the manufacturer or seller. An implied warranty is the implicit understanding that a manufacturer’s or seller’s product will cause no harm if used as intended. A breach of warranty lawsuit can arise when a consumer is harmed by a product despite an express or implied warranty of safety.
Who Can Be Held Responsible in Product Liability Cases?
Depending on the circumstances, the victim of a defective product may be entitled to seek compensation from any of the following parties:
A designer – If the defective product contains an inherent design flaw, consumers may have grounds to sue the creator(s) of the original design.
A manufacturer – This could include any parties involved in manufacturing, assembling, labeling, or marketing a defective product or part.
A wholesaler – Wholesalers typically act as middlemen between manufacturers and retailers. A wholesaler may be liable if they fail to properly store, label, package, or sell a product.
A retailer – Retailers provide an implicit guarantee of safety and efficacy when they advertise and sell certain products. As a result, consumers can hold retailers responsible for injuries caused by defective products, even if the sellers were not involved in designing or manufacturing the products.
How a Defective Product Attorney Can Help You
A knowledgeable Greenville product liability attorney can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries and hold liable parties accountable by:
Answering your questions and reviewing your legal options in a free consultation
Conducting an independent investigation into the origins of the product defect
Communicating with manufacturers, insurers, and other parties on your behalf
Obtaining valuable evidence and witness testimony to support your case
Managing important documents, dates, and deadlines on your behalf
Negotiating aggressively to maximize your compensation during settlement talks
Taking your product liability case to court and representing you at trial, if necessary
Contact Our Greenville Product Liability Lawyers for Your Free Case Review
If you’ve been hurt by a defective product in Greenville, look no further than The Melonakos Law Firm. Our dedicated and compassionate team can address your concerns and evaluate your case for free during an initial case review. Contact us today to learn more about how our experienced Greenville product liability lawyers can help you.