When you get hurt in an accident on someone’s property because they didn’t maintain it, you can hold them responsible. If you’re hit by a car and the driver was careless, you can sue them for damages. What happens, however, when you’re using a mobile device and you get a serious burn because it was poorly manufactured and overheats?
In such cases, you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable for the damages you suffer. Learn about product liability claims, what they are, how they proceed, the damages you can collect, and why you need the services of an injury lawyer.
Types of Product Liability
Before you pursue a product liability claim, you’ll want to know what kind of claim you’re pursuing. There are a number of varieties and legal theories that come into play in these sorts of cases, and many cases employ more than one. These include strict liability, negligence, warranty breaches and fraud.
Strict product liability is the primary legal theory that plays out in most cases like this. It simply shows that a product was sold to the plaintiff, and that product was inherently dangerous to use or failed to properly warn about the potential dangers of using it. It also requires demonstrating that the seller had full intention that the product would arrive in the hands of the consumer as manufactured, without any changes.
Negligence is a concept that comes into play in many personal injury cases. This requires proof that the defendant had a duty of care—in this case, to provide a product that was safe to use as intended. Secondly, the defendant, by producing a dangerous product, violated this duty, and that breach caused the defendant to get injured.
Warranties mean that there is a guarantee related to a product. As such, a breach of warranty means that the manufacturer failed to abide by that guarantee. Thus, you must prove that there was a warranty in place, and the product didn’t live up to the contract, resulting in your injury.
Finally, some defective products are cases of fraud. In these cases, you must demonstrate that the product was clearly represented in a certain way, which turned out to be entirely untrue. You must also show that the defendant knew that they were misrepresenting the product and that they did so to get people to buy the product. If you were justified in assuming the misrepresentations to be accurate and were injured as a result, you have a potential case of fraud.
Product Liability and the Injury Lawyer
Because different kinds of cases require different kinds of evidence, many product liability cases count on strict liability. It’s much easier to meet your burden of proof in these cases than in other kinds such as fraud or negligence. Strict liability also opens the door to a larger range of damages, though fraud cases open the door to punitive damages.
Determining what kind of case you have requires a deep knowledge of product liability law. That’s why you should turn to an experienced injury lawyer for help. Give us a call at Harris & Graves for help with your South Carolina product liability case today.