Did the product you trusted cause you harm? Schwaba Law Firm understands the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a product-related injury can take on your life.
Andrew Schwaba, a reputable and compassionate North Carolina product liability attorney, can provide the support and legal representation you need during this challenging time. With a focus on personalized attention and tailored legal strategies, Andrew has recovered millions for clients and families throughout North Carolina.
If you have been injured due to a defective product, don’t wait to seek the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with a North Carolina product liability lawyer from Schwaba Law Firm now for a free consultation.
What Does Product Liability Mean?
Product liability is an area of law that governs the legal responsibility of manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and sellers for any damages or injuries caused by their products. Product liability laws aim to protect consumers by holding companies accountable for the safety and quality of their goods. When a product is defective or unreasonably dangerous and it causes harm to a consumer, the law grants injured parties the right to seek compensation through product liability lawsuits.
Product liability cases can involve a wide range of products, including vehicles, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, household appliances, consumer goods, and more.
If you or someone close to you got hurt by a dangerous or defective product, it’s important to consult a qualified product liability lawyer in North Carolina to understand your rights.
What Are Common Examples of Defective Products?
Product liability claims can involve various kinds of defective or dangerous products. Some of the most common types of products that give rise to product liability claims include the following:
- Defective Vehicles and Auto Parts – This category includes automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and other vehicles with faulty designs, manufacturing defects, or inadequate safety features. It also includes defective auto parts such as tires, airbags, brakes, or ignition systems.
- Dangerous Drugs – Pharmaceutical products, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, can give rise to product liability claims if they have harmful defects or inadequate warnings about potential risks. Deficient testing, improper labeling, or undisclosed side effects can all contribute to dangerous drug claims.
- Defective Medical Devices – Medical devices, implants, and equipment can be sources of product liability claims if they have defects that cause harm or lack proper warnings. This includes products like faulty pacemakers, hip implants, hernia meshes, and other devices.
- Children’s Products – Products designed for children, including toys, cribs, strollers, and car seats, can be subject to product liability claims if they have design flaws, contain hazardous materials, or lack proper warnings.
- Industrial and Construction Equipment – Machinery, power tools, construction equipment, and safety gear used in industrial or construction settings can cause severe injuries if they have defects, inadequate safety measures, or poor instructions.
- Household Chemicals and Cleaning Products – Cleaning agents, pesticides, solvents, and other household chemicals can be hazardous if they lack proper warnings, have inadequate packaging, or are composed of dangerous substances.
What Are the Different Kinds of Defective Product Liability Claims?
Product liability cases typically fall into one or more of the three following categories based on the type of defect involved:
- Defective Design Cases – This type of case focuses on flaws in the design of a product that renders it inherently unsafe or poses a foreseeable risk of harm to users, even when manufactured and used as intended.
- Manufacturing Defect Cases – A manufacturing defect arises when a product’s design is sound, but a flaw occurs during the production process, making an individual product or a small batch of products dangerous or defective.
- Failure to Warn Cases – This type of product liability case focuses on a manufacturer’s or retailer’s failure to include proper warnings or instructions regarding the product’s use or potential risks.
Who Is Liable If I Am Injured or Damaged by a Defective Product?
Several parties could be liable for injuries or losses caused by a defective or dangerous product, and identifying these parties is essential for pursuing a successful claim. The key parties that could be liable in a product liability case include the following:
- Manufacturers – The makers of products and their component parts are typically the primary parties held accountable in product liability cases. This can include companies that design, produce, or assemble defective or dangerous products.
- Distributors – Distributors play a role in getting products from manufacturers to retailers or end consumers. If a defect develops during distribution or if the distributor is aware of a defect but fails to take appropriate action, they could share liability for any resulting user injuries.
- Retailers or Sellers – A retailer or seller, including an online marketplace, could be liable if it sold a defective product or failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions to a consumer. Every retailer has a duty to ensure that the products it sells are safe and free from defects.
- Product Designers – Product designers are responsible for exercising reasonable care and skill in creating their designs and considering factors such as safety, functionality, and potential risks. If a design flaw renders a product unreasonably dangerous to consumers, the designer can be held responsible for resulting injuries.
What If a Family Member Dies as a Result of a Defective Product?
If a family member dies as a result of a product defect in North Carolina, you could have grounds for a wrongful death case. In a wrongful death case, surviving beneficiaries seek monetary compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the death of their loved one.
Various types of compensation could be recoverable in a wrongful death case, including money for the following types of losses:
- Final medical expenses related to the deceased’s fatal injury or illness
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the deceased’s future earnings and financial contributions
In some cases, if the responsible party’s actions were particularly egregious or showed a willful disregard for the safety of others, the court might order them to pay punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are monetary awards intended to punish wrongdoers and deter similar conduct in the future.
It’s important to note that only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death case in North Carolina. In most cases, the personal representative has only two years from the date of death to sue. However, certain exceptions or circumstances could affect this time limit, so it’s important to consult a lawyer to understand the specific deadlines and requirements that apply to your situation.
What Compensation Can I Recover for Defective Product Injuries?
If you have been injured or suffered losses due to a product defect, you could be entitled to recover money for various types of losses, potentially including the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of consortium
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Future medical costs
- Lost future earning capacity
- Property damage costs
How Long Do I Have to File a Defective Product Liability Claim in North Carolina?
Most product liability lawsuits in North Carolina are subject to a two-year deadline. However, this rule does not apply to insurance claims, and the specific time limit can vary depending on the circumstances. It’s wise to consult a North Carolina defective product lawyer who can explain the deadlines and requirements that apply to your case.
What You Should Do If a Defective Product Hurts You
If you get hurt or sick due to a defective product, it’s important to take steps to protect your rights and build a strong case. You should:
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries or illness.
- Preserve the defective product itself as evidence, along with any packaging or instructions.
- Take photographs or videos of the product, your injuries, and the incident scene.
- Write down a detailed account of the incident, including the date, time, and location.
- Keep records of all medical treatments and any related expenses or losses.
- Identify and gather contact information for any witnesses who saw the incident or defect.
- Consult a North Carolina defective product lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
- Report the incident to the manufacturer and other parties like consumer protection agencies.
- Avoid discussing the incident on social media or with third parties.
- Consider participating in existing or potential class action lawsuits related to the defective item.
Benefits of Hiring a North Carolina Product Liability Law Firm
If you know or suspect you have a product liability case, the assistance of a skilled attorney is essential. A North Carolina product liability law firm can support you and your case by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the product and its defects.
- Gathering and analyzing relevant evidence, including documentation and witness testimonies.
- Assessing the extent of your injuries, losses, and the impact on your life.
- Determining the appropriate legal strategy based on the facts of your case.
- Identifying all potentially responsible parties and sources of compensation.
- Consulting with industry experts or specialists to strengthen your case.
- Calculating the full value of your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and more.
- Negotiating with insurance companies and other parties to seek a fair settlement.
- Preparing you and your case for trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
- Presenting your case in court.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney in North Carolina Today
You don’t have to face the aftermath of a defective product incident alone. Count on Andrew Schwaba to protect your rights, take the pressure off you, and demand the money you need for your recovery.
Let Schwaba Law Firm work tirelessly to protect your rights. Contact a North Carolina product liability attorney today for a free consultation.