If you have been injured due to a faulty product, you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability claim. You may also be able to bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit if you have lost a loved one due to a faulty product.
To help you understand the process, here is a look at the essentials of product liability claims in South Carolina:
Elements in a Product Liability Case
Product liability cases fall under the realm of personal injury law. To bring forward a claim, you cannot just prove that the product was dangerous. You also have to establish that you suffered damages as a result of the product, and that your damages arose from the manufacturer’s negligence.
Damages can include direct costs such as medical expenses incurred for your injury or lost wages, but they can also include indirect costs such as pain and suffering.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims fall into three distinct categories:
- Defective manufacture — when a mistake in the manufacturing process creates a dangerous or deadly issue with the product.
- Defective design — when the design of the product is inherently dangerous and causes death or injury to someone.
- Failure to warn — when the product labels fail to warn users of relevant dangers.
Examples of Product Liability Issues
To help you understand the different types of product liability claims, imagine that your child was injured due to a toy. If the toy featured small detachable elements that caused your child to choke, that issue may fall under defective design. In contrast, if the toy wasn’t designed that way but a manufacturing issue caused those parts to become detached, the case may be related to defective manufacture.
Finally, if the toy did not have a label to keep it away from children under three, your case may be due to failure to warn.
Importance of a Quality Product Liability Lawyer
Product liability cases can be tricky to argue, and you need an attorney experienced with these types of claims. Ideally, as most product liability claims fall under federal jurisdiction, you need an attorney well versed in both South Carolina and federal law.
For example, the rules related to the admissibility of expert testimony can vary in different jurisdictions. In 2017, this issue came up in the case of Green v. The Bradley Company and HMU, LLC. Ultimately, the courts decided that because the case was in federal jurisdiction, the defendant could not exclude evidence presented by the expert witness.
If the case had been in South Carolina jurisdiction, that same testimony may not have been allowed, ultimately changing the course of the case. When bringing forward this type of claim, you need an attorney who understands these nuances and has the experience to help you.
Statute of Limitations
In South Carolina, product liability cases have a three year statute of limitations. You must bring forward a case within three years after suffering an injury or after the death of a loved one. However, you can also bring forward cases related to breach of warranty and that has a six year statute of limitations.
To learn more about product liability claims, contact us to set up a free case evaluation today. At Ryan Montgomery LLC, we work hard to get the best possible outcomes for our clients.Tags: product liability