When you purchase a product for yourself, your home, or a loved one, one of the farthest things from your mind is worrying about how safe it is. We don’t expect manufacturers to sell dangerously faulty products, but it happens more often that you likely realize.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a faulty consumer good, look to an experienced Moncks Corner product liability lawyer for the professional legal guidance you need.
South Carolina’s Product Liability Law
In order to bring a successful product liability claim in South Carolina, you’ll need to demonstrate all the following:
- That the product was defective
- That the defect caused you to be injured
- That your injuries caused you to suffer covered losses, or legal damages
While we’ve all been burned by products that don’t live up to the promises made in flashy advertisements, most of us don’t expect our purchases to actually cause harm, which can make product liability claims that much more challenging.
Your Legal Damages
The legal damages you can seek compensation for in a South Carolina product liability claim include all the following:
- Your medical expenses, including those related to any ongoing healthcare concerns
- Your lost income, including any decrease in your earning potential
- The physical and emotional pain and suffering you experience
Clearly identifying your losses in their entirety is an important step in the claims process and is the best way to help ensure that you recover fully on the damages you incur.
Categories of Product Defects
There are all kinds of product liability claims, and not all qualifying consumer goods are defective in the same way.
Defective by design
Some defective products are defective as a result of their very design, which is referred to as a design defect. This refers to a product that is dangerous even when it is used by reasonable people in the manner that it was intended to be used, or in a manner that was reasonably foreseeable. For example, a toy that is made for small children but has tiny removable parts that end up becoming choking hazards is faulty by design.
Made defective during manufacture
When a product has a manufacturing defect, the design itself is not flawed, but the product is somehow rendered defective during the manufacturing process. For example, if a drug becomes tainted with a toxin during manufacture, it can jeopardize the health of those who take it and is considered a manufacturing defect.
Failure to warn
Some well-designed and properly manufactured products nevertheless come with safety concerns. For example, power tools are naturally dangerous when they are not used in careful accordance with specific directions and when they don’t have the necessary warnings in place. When a manufacturer fails to supply consumers with the necessary instructions or fails to apply the appropriate warnings, it can lead to failure to warn claims, otherwise known as marketing defects.
South Carolina’s Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Claims
You only have a predetermined amount of time to file a product liability lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years from the date you are injured by the defective product in question.
While three years may strike you as ample time to get the job done, it’s important to note that product liability claims are complicated, and if you fail to file a lawsuit against the insurance company handling your claim within this timeframe, your ability to recover on the damages you’ve experienced will be lost.
In other words, it’s in your best interest to reach out to a dedicated product liability lawyer sooner rather than later.
The Manufacturer’s Insurance Company Handling your Claim
The insurance company that is handling your claim is motivated to keep your settlement low, and it will do what it can to make this happen. Being on the lookout for tactics such as the following is well advised:
- If the insurance company wants to obtain a recorded statement from you, it’s likely an attempt to guide your statement in a direction that will ultimately harm your claim.
- If the insurance company comes back with a speedy settlement offer, it’s likely an attempt to finalize your claim before you recognize the full extent of your physical, financial, and emotional losses.
- If the insurance company makes the claims process even more complicated or lengthier than it needs to be, it’s their way of offloading claimants who simply give up.
- If the insurance company denies the extent of your losses or pushes fault back on you, it’s attempting to confuse the issue — and you.
- If the insurance company denies your claim outright, it’s hoping you’ll believe they have the final say and give up.
In the end, the strength of your claim is a matter of law — not the insurance company.
Contact Our Moncks Corner Product Liability Lawyer for Help
West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is proud to be a family firm with strong ties to the community that reach back for several generations. Our skilled product liability lawyer, E. Mason West, brings a wealth of experience and legal insight to the position and is on your side.
Product Liability Case FAQs
Can I seek compensation for my pain and suffering?
Yes, in the State of South Carolina, you can seek compensation for the pain and suffering you experience as a result of being injured by a defective consumer product.
How do I know if I need a lawyer?
Having a product liability lawyer on your side is always in your best interest if you’ve been harmed by a faulty product.
How much do product liability lawyers charge?
Most reputable product liability lawyers receive a prearranged percentage of their claimants’ settlements or court awards after their claims have been successfully finalized.