Experienced Injury Attorney Serving North Carolina and South Carolina
If you or someone you know has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you may be able to take legal action against the responsible party. However, identifying and properly pursuing the responsible party can be a complicated task. Skilled products liability lawyer Brian Steed Tatum can help you make a claim if you have been harmed by a consumer product in North Carolina or South Carolina. Each state has its own laws for these cases, and our firm is familiar with the rules and regulations related to products liability cases in both.
Protecting the Rights of Injured Consumers
There are extensive consumer protection laws that dictate the rules related to products liability cases, which can include arise from automobiles, food, beverages, tobacco, building materials, industrial machinery, medical devices, real estate, and intangibles such as gas and electricity.
A manufacturer or vendor of goods often must compensate people harmed by defective or faulty merchandise that the manufacturer or vendor released on the market. This means that an injured party may have a valid claim against companies that designed, manufactured, sold, or furnished the unsafe product. Manufacturers include manufacturers of parts and components as well as assembling manufacturers. Selling parties include wholesalers and retail sellers.
Products liability cases can be highly complex because there can be multiple parties involved and multiple claims that a consumer can pursue. Typically, there are three types of product liability claims. First, a strict liability claim is based on a theory of absolute legal responsibility for an injury due to the unsafe product. There is no need to prove negligence or fault in a strict liability claim. Alternately, a consumer can file a negligence claim if one or more parties in the manufacturing chain was careless in making or selling the faulty product that injured the consumer. Finally, a breach of warranty claim can arise when there is an express or implied warranty guaranteeing that the product should be safe for its intended use. A consumer might have a breach of warranty claim if that product turns out to be defective and injures the consumer.
Each state’s laws will dictate the type of product liability claim you are able to file. For example, the state of North Carolina does not allow consumers to file strict liability claims in products liability cases. While all products liability cases hinge on showing that the product was defective, there are many different types of defects the plaintiff can allege. These include design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. You should consult an experienced products liability attorney to help you decide which type or types of defect caused your injury.
Filing a Negligence Claim to Recover Compensation
Since strict liability is not an available option in North Carolina, an injured consumer there might consider filing a negligence claim against the manufacturer or vendor. To recover compensation, the consumer has to prove the following elements:
- The manufacturer had a duty of care in the production, design, or assembly of the product;
- The manufacturer breached the duty of care and thereby created or contributed to the creation of an unsafe product;
- The breach caused injuries to a consumer who used the unsafe product; and
- The consumer suffered damages because of the injuries.
While the elements of negligence are the same in North and South Carolina, only your attorney will be able to advise you of whether it is the best claim to use in your situation. Each state also has its own statute of limitations, which is the time period during which an injured consumer can take legal action. You must be careful to avoid missing this window of opportunity.
If you succeed in a products liability claim, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other economic losses arising from the incident. Sometimes you may be able to recover damages from more than one defendant who was responsible for your injuries.
Seasoned North Carolina and South Carolina Products Liability Lawyer Can Help
At the Tatum Law Firm, experienced defective product attorney Brian Steed Tatum is committed to representing clients across North Carolina and South Carolina with the utmost respect and professionalism. We understand the legal nuances that may be relevant to your situation, and that knowledge can make all the difference in your case. While we aim to resolve our clients’ matters through settlement negotiations, the reality is that sometimes we have to litigate. In these instances, we are not afraid to fight for your rights in the courtroom. For further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at 704-307-4350 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.