South Carolina Product Liability Attorneys
Representing victims of defective products
As consumers, we have the right to expect that the products we purchase will work as advertised. We also have a right to expect that we can use those products safely. When a defective product causes you to sustain injuries, you can seek compensation through a product liability claim. At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, we handle complex litigation involving defective products for clients throughout South Carolina and nationwide. Please contact us to find out more about our services.
What is a product liability lawsuit?
A product liability lawsuit is a type of civil claim that seeks to hold a retailer, manufacturer, or designer liable for any injuries you sustain while using a product in its intended way. There are limits, however, to your ability to make a claim. If you were using the product in an unsafe way, or in a way that is unintended, you could be barred from recovering. Because South Carolina follows a form of modified comparative negligence, you could also find your damage award lowered.
Example: say you purchase a ladder to help you paint your house. Even though you’re not supposed to, you stand on the top step in order to reach part of the wall. The ladder shakes, and you fall, breaking your leg. Upon inspection, you realize that the reason the ladder was shaking was because it had a defect: there were screws missing that kept the top step secure.
If a case like this makes it to a jury, and that jury decides you are more than 50% at-fault for your own injuries, you will be denied compensation. If you are found less than 50% responsible, then your award will be reduced by your percentage fault. If the award was, say, $10,000, and you are found 40% at-fault, then you could only collect $6,000 in damages.
What are the three types of defects?
There are three categories of defects:
- Design defect. Design defects imply that the actual plans behind a product were faulty, or that the device was not tested properly.
- Marketing defects. Also called “failure to warn,” a marketing defect occurs when a device fails to list potential side effects, or when a company fails to disclose any potential problems. Failure to warn is often cited in cases involving defective drugs or medical devices.
- Manufacturing defect.A manufacturing defect is one that occurs during the building, or production, of the device. This is the rarest type of claim, but it does happen.
In many cases, a defective product can fall into more than one category. For example, General Motors manufactured a faulty ignition switch AND knew that it was defective, yet failed to recall their cars for 11 years. The same is true for Takata’s exploding airbags.
What if I haven’t been hurt by a defective product. Can I still make a claim?
Not all injuries are physical. If you sustained losses of any kind, you could be entitled to compensation.
Understand, though, that if you have not experienced a loss, you may not be able to file a product liability claim: a bad product is not necessarily an injurious one. For example, if you buy an “As Seen On TV” grass trimmer and you think it makes your lawn look bad, you cannot sue for damages. However, if a piece of the trimmer breaks off and slices open your ankle, necessitating stitches, a cast, or even surgery, then you would likely have a claim.
If you are unsure whether or not you have a claim, call us: we can tell you.
Product liability claims the firm handles
McGowan, Hood & Felder has been an industry leader when it comes to complex product liability claims. We represent, and have represented, clients who were critically injured because of:
- 3M dual combat earplugs
- Johnson & Johnson talc products
- Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide
- Paraquat herbicide
- Defective car and truck parts
- Dangerous children’s products
- Defective power tools and heavy machinery
- Defective e-cigarettes
Why you need an experienced South Carolina product liability lawyer on your side
Product liability is a different kind of personal injury claim. You need an experienced lawyer who can represent your best interests. At McGowan, Hood & Felder, our personal injury attorneys will:
- Review all of your medical records
- Investigate your accident or claim
- Handle the insurance companies
- Work to have your property losses mitigated
- Ensure your claim is filed correctly and on-time
- Work one-on-one with you, so that you always get answers to the questions you seek
The most important thing we do for clients, however, is walk them through the process of making a claim for compensation.
Can I afford a products liability attorney?
Yes, you can. McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC offers free initial consultations, and takes cases on contingency. That means you pay nothing until we win your case. Once you have been awarded compensation, we take our fees and expenses from that. You pay nothing out of pocket.
How long do I have to file a products liability claim in SC?
You have three years from the date of your injury, or from the date you should have reasonably known you were injured, to file a products liability claim in South Carolina.
Contact McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC if you were harmed by a defective product
McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC handles complex product liability claims on behalf of victims and their families. If you or your loved one was hurt, we want to help. Please call 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation at one of our offices throughout South Carolina.