When a person is injured by a defective product, the question of who is responsible must be considered. For example, a person buys a lawnmower from the hardware store down the street and while mowing the lawn, a blade becomes detached from the rotor and cuts the person’s leg. Is the store responsible for the defective product? Is the manufacturer?
Charleston product liability lawyers work with cases like these to determine the at-fault party, if there is one, and fight for the compensation that injured clients deserve. If you have been injured as the result of a faulty product, contact a diligent attorney who will advocate for you.
Defining Product Liability
Unlike many civil causes of action in South Carolina, product liability has a statute dedicated to its definition, South Carolina Code of Laws 15-73-10. It reads:
“One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the consumer…is subject to liability for physical harm caused to the ultimate user or consumer, or to their property, the seller is engaged in the business of selling such a product, and it is expected to and does reach the consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it was sold.”
It is no defense for the seller to exercise all possible care in the preparation and sale of the product. It is also possible to bring suit against the sellers of firearms. While firearms can be dangerous, if a plaintiff is able to demonstrate that an injury was caused by a defect in the design of the ammunition for example, as opposed to an injury from the general use of a firearm, they may recover damages.
However, according to South Carolina Code of Laws 15-73-40, succeeding in the products liability case against a firearm manufacturer alleging a design defect is made more difficult in that the plaintiff must prove that the actual design of the firearm or ammunition was defective, causing it not to function in a manner reasonably expected by an ordinary consumer of firearms or ammunition.
This eliminates the usual routes of claiming damages during the manufacturing process or damage during transportation. The statutory definition a seller can apply to both the manufacturer of the product, the lawnmower in the above example, and the retailer. In fact, suits filed alleging product liability often name both the maker and retailer as co-defendants.
In addition to the elements of product liability listed above, it is also necessary to demonstrate that any injuries suffered were indeed caused by the defective product.Charleston product liability attorneys examine cases such as these to determine whether to name the maker or seller in a suit, to link injuries to product defects and shield clients from aggressive insurance companies.
What To Expect in a Product Liability Case
In many cases involving personal injury, such as product liability cases, the two sides settle out of court. Plaintiffs’ attorneys and insurance companies often work toward a solution that is often far quicker and often more equitable. However, in times that a settlement cannot be reached, the firm’s product liability attorneys prepare cases for court by examining all the evidence, consulting with expert witnesses, and preparing clients for trial.
Insurance companies for manufacturers and retailers can be very aggressive with unrepresented plaintiffs. Contact a Charleston product liability lawyer today to learn and protect your rights.