If you or someone in your home recently purchased or used a product that malfunctioned and caused property damage or injuries, you probably have questions about what to do next.
As a victim of a potentially defective product, you must be prepared with information about how to file a legal claim against the responsible party.
Evidence Used to Determine Liability
The first step in bringing a lawsuit due to injuries from a defective product involves determining the liable party or parties. More than one entity could be held accountable depending on the specifics of the case. This is why it is important to keep track of information about the product, such as where you bought it, the instructions given to you with it, and any communication you had with the manufacturing company or support line after buying the item. This information can prove helpful in identifying liable entities.
Analyzing the Chain of Distribution
The person selling the product or the company name on the box alone does not cover everyone who could be involved in the chain of distribution for a defective product. Others who could have some level of responsibility for the injuries caused by a product include:
- The manufacturer of the product
- A maker of component pieces or parts of the product
- A party that installs or assembles the product
- The Wholesaler
If strict liability applies to a product defect, the plaintiff only has to show that the product was defective. This eliminates the need for the plaintiff to show that the manufacturer was negligent, which can sometimes have an important impact on a victim’s ability to recover compensation.
Kinds of Product Defects
In order to determine who is liable for your injuries, you must be able to explain or show the specific defect in question. As a consumer, this can be challenging to pin down. An expert might be needed to explain how the product malfunctioned and which party, therefore, should be held accountable for that error.
There are three general kinds of product defects that are named in supplier or manufacturer liability claims: manufacturing, design, and failure to warn. Whereas a manufacturing defect has to do with the actual assembly of the product, design defects claim that something in the pre-manufacturing process made the item inherently unsafe. Failure to warn defects argue that there were serious issues in the way a product was marketed, such as with insufficient safety warnings, instructions, or labels. Gathering evidence to support the claim should be done as soon as possible to protect the victim’s right to file.
Remember — Not Every Situation Goes to Court
Many clients injured by defective products are concerned about having to "take a case to court," worried that the costs will be more than the end benefit of receiving the compensation they are due. Not all litigation ends in court — in fact, most litigation takes place outside the courtroom. Your legal representative may be able to negotiate on your behalf and find a compensation amount or conclusion that is satisfactory for all parties without ever having to step foot in a courtroom.
Injured by a Defective Product in South Carolina? We're Here to Help.
At Bluestein Attorneys, we have experience helping our clients with defective product liability claims, and would be happy to speak with you regarding your personal injury case. Our offices are located in Columbia, South Carolina, and have helped clients within South Carolina and beyond. Reach us by phone at (803) 674-8815 or contact us online at any time to request your FREE consultation today!