Who Can Sue for Product Liability?
Consumers rely on a wide variety of products every day. When you use a product for its intended purpose, you have a right to expect that it will work properly and safely. Unfortunately, defects can cause products to break and malfunction, potentially resulting in serious injuries and even death for unsuspecting consumers.
If you or a member of your family was injured or your loved one died because of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced attorney can assess your case and advise you of your right to recovery.
The Whitley Law Firm has extensive experience handling defective product claims. Contact a product liability lawyer in Raleigh or another of our offices in North Carolina for a free case evaluation.
Elements of a Product Liability Claim
Product liability is a complex area of the law. These claims are far more complicated than simply returning a faulty product and demanding a refund. Multiple consumers may suffer injury or death as a result of a product defect, and the damages in each claim may be significant.
To recover compensation in a product liability claim, you must prove the following:
- The product is defective
- You used the product the way it was intended and according to instructions
- The product defect caused your injury
- You sustained damages as a result of the injury
In many jurisdictions, product liability claimants are not required to prove negligence on the part of the defendant(s) to recover compensation. This is known as a strict liability claim. However, North Carolina law bars defective product claims brought on the grounds of strict liability.
This unfortunately means that the burden rests on the plaintiff (i.e., the injured consumer) to present evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the company or companies involved in making and distributing the product.
An experienced defective product lawyer will have the knowledge and resources to investigate negligence and other issues that may have made the product unsafe. It is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Types of Product Liability Claims
The defects that make products unsafe can arise at any point in a product’s lifecycle. Identifying the defect and how it originated is crucial for proving your right to compensation in a product liability claim.
Injured consumers and their loved ones can sue the makers of defective products for the following issues:
- Design defects: Products with faulty designs have inherent flaws that pose a risk to consumers. The specifications for the product may overlook a potential danger, or the design may fail to meet industrial safety standards.
- Manufacturing errors: The manufacturing process for mass consumer products is complicated. Multiple companies may be involved in the assembly and packaging of a product before it goes to market. Errors in manufacturing may affect only one of the products or an entire lot.
- Failure to warn: Even if a product is safely designed and manufactured, consumers need to be advised of foreseeable dangers. Failure to warn claims center on issues such as missing warning labels and inadequate instructions for using the product.
- Breach of warranty: Express warranties explicitly guarantee the safety and performance of a product. With an implied warranty, the manufacturer and/or seller of a product provides a tacit guarantee that the product is safe and effective. Consumers who have been harmed by a defective product may be able to bring breach of warranty claims if the defect violated an express and/or implied warranty on the product.
Multiple parties may be liable in defective product claims, including the manufacturer, wholesaler, and seller (i.e., the shop or store that sold you the product). Thorough investigation of each of these parties is necessary to determine how negligence may have led to the failure of the product and your subsequent injuries and damages.
In addition to product liability claims involving personal injury, the survivors of someone killed by a faulty product can pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. Losing someone you love is a devastating event, and it can be difficult to determine who is responsible and what damages you can recover. Seeking legal guidance in this situation is crucial so you can protect your right to compensation while you and your family focus on healing.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney Today
Building a defective product claim is not easy. Claimants face a number of challenges in recovering damages, including the resistance of businesses and companies to accept responsibility and pay what you are owed.
At the Whitley Law Firm, we understand the complexities of cases involving defective products. Our team works with qualified experts to determine the nature of the defect, how it occurred, and who is liable for your injuries. We handle each case with honesty and compassion, providing clients with hands-on support and guidance.
Please contact the Whitley Law Firm by calling (919) 785-5000 today for a free case evaluation. Our product liability attorneys serve clients in Raleigh, Kinston, New Bern, and throughout North Carolina.