Greensboro Dangerous Product Attorney
When we purchase products for ourselves and our families, we rarely think those products may be defective or inherently dangerous. We expect every toy we purchase for young children to be rigorously tested. We expect every medication we take to meet rigorous safety standards.
Unfortunately, consumers are frequently injured by defective and dangerous products. For example, in a single recent year, 59,000 emergency room-treated injuries were associated with – or directly caused by – nursery products for children younger than age five, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration received more than 2.1 million reports of adverse events associated with drugs and therapeutic products that year.
The law allows injured consumers to seek compensation for their injuries and other damages. The legal action is known as a product liability claim. The claim holds manufacturers and sellers liable when their negligence allows a defective or dangerous product to end up in the hands of consumers.
Pursuing a product liability claim in Greensboro or anywhere in North Carolina can prove to be a difficult task. A product liability claim requires the use of complex factual evidence and legal arguments. With a knowledgeable, experienced product liability attorney on your side, you have the best chance at securing maximum financial recovery.
Don’t wait another day to get the legal representation you need and deserve for your product liability claim. Contact us for a no-cost initial case review today with a Greensboro product liability lawyer at Ward Black Law. You will learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages from a defective or dangerous product. We handle cases all across North Carolina.
What Is Product Liability?
“Product liability” refers to a legal claim. In that claim, a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a product can be held legally responsible for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer who is then injured by that product.
A claim for product liability may be brought against any party in the “chain of commerce” of a product. The chain of commerce includes the manufacturer of the product, any distributors of the product, and the retailer who sells the product to the user.
A product liability claim may be brought by the original purchaser of the product, or by family members, guest, or employees of the original purchaser.
Under product liability law, products must meet the ordinary expectations of consumers – namely, that products will be safe for their intended use. A product may be shown as defective or dangerous in North Carolina generally under one of three legal theories:
- Design defect – The product was designed in a way that makes it inherently dangerous or unsafe to users. Design defects affect all copies of the product sharing that design.
- Manufacturing defect – An error during the production process rendered the product dangerous or unsafe to users. Manufacturing defects may be limited to a single example of a product or the entire production run of a product.
- Failure to warn – The manufacturer or retailer failed to instruct the user of the safe use or operation of the product or warn of the risks and dangers in using the product.
In North Carolina, a consumer who is injured by a defective product must prove that the manufacturer or seller was negligent in placing a defective product in the hands of the consumer. North Carolina’s product liability law differs from other states, which allow an injured consumer to bring a product liability claim under a theory of strict liability. Under that theory, the consumer only needs to prove that the product was dangerous or defective. The consumer does not need to show that a manufacturer, distributor or seller committed a negligent act or omission.
North Carolina does not follow that theory. As a result, manufacturers and sellers have multiple legal defenses they can raise to a product liability case in North Carolina. Those defenses include:
- A seller sold the product in a sealed container and had no reason to believe the product was defective.
- The product was altered by a third party (unless the alterations were made according to manufacturer instructions).
- The manufacturer or seller did not have a reasonable opportunity to warn the purchaser of the risks of the product.
- Use of the product posed an open and obvious risk and the user used the product in a careless manner.
- The user contributed to their injury by using the product contrary to instructions, by using a product the user knew was defective, or the user failed to exercise reasonable care in using the product.
Types of Defective Product Cases We Take
Any negligently designed or manufactured product has the capability to injure an unsuspecting user. Some of the most common defective product claims that our Greensboro product liability attorneys handle include:
- Dangerous prescription drugs – Pharmaceutical companies are required to put new drugs through rigorous clinical testing and identify all potential side effects. The testing ensures these drugs don’t pose an unreasonable risk of harmful side effects. When drug companies fail to conduct adequate clinical research to identify negative side effects or fail to adequately or accurately inform physicians or consumers of the risks of certain prescription drugs, the drug companies should be held responsible for the harmful side effects that users experience.
- Defective medical products – Sometimes medical devices are negligently designed or manufactured or come with inadequate warnings of the risks of their use. When patients are injured by defective medical devices, manufacturers should be held accountable for the harm that these devices inflict. Our firm can use our legal knowledge and our resources, including our relationships with engineering and medical experts, to show how you were injured by a defectively designed or manufactured medical device in an appropriate case.
- Defective auto parts – Defective auto parts that are negligently designed or manufactured can easily lead to a motor vehicle accident that causes serious injury or death. The accident happens when the defective part doesn’t perform as intended or suffers a catastrophic failure. Our firm has the experience and connections with knowledgeable automotive engineering experts to explain how the defective part in your vehicle was negligently designed or manufactured. Depending on the facts, our legal team can show how the defective auto part contributed to your motor vehicle accident and your injuries.
- Dangerous children’s products – Parents take every precaution to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, some children’s products are negligently designed or manufactured or do not adequately warn about the risks of injury they pose. A young child can be easily injured by a defective product when parents look away for just a moment. The child may also be injured by a defective product that fails catastrophically. Our firm stands ready to fight negligent manufacturers to get you and your child the financial compensation and justice that you deserve.
- Toxic exposure – Some manufacturers produce products and substances that are toxic or poisonous in nature. Manufacturers may use toxic materials simply because those materials save money. Toxic exposure claims can prove particularly complicated. Injuries can take years to appear. Toxic exposure claims also often involve fierce litigation over what manufacturers knew about the toxic nature of their products.
Our firm will use our relationships with chemical engineering and medical experts to show how your exposure to toxic products caused you to develop a disease or other medical condition when appropriate. Our attorneys will fight to demonstrate the manufacturers’ negligence.
- Defective tools or equipment – Defective tools and equipment injure consumers, construction workers, craftsmen and factory workers. Our attorneys will work diligently to show tool and equipment manufacturers produced the defective product that injured you. We may prove negligent acts or omissions occurred in designing or building the tool or equipment, or that there were inadequate warnings about the risks of injury depending on the facts of your case.
Compensation for Injuries Caused by Dangerous Products
If you’ve been injured by a dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer or seller of the product. You may recover for damages you’ve incurred because of your injuries. The damages include:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical treatments, including hospital stays, surgeries, other medical procedures, prescription medication, physical or occupational therapy, or mobility or other medical equipment needed for your injuries
- Long-term care costs, such as home health care or renovations to your home or office to accommodate disabilities caused by your injuries, or personal or home care services
- Lost wages or income, for the time that you miss from work while recovering from your injuries
- Lost earning potential, if your injuries render you unable to return to your normal level of work or prevent you from returning to work altogether, resulting in a reduction in your earning level or potential
- Pain and suffering, or the emotional and physical distress and anguish caused by your injuries
- Lost quality of life, or the anguish, humiliation, and/or embarrassment caused by disfigurements, disabilities, the inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed, or the inability to perform other daily tasks
- Loss of consortium, which compensates your spouse for the loss of your companionship and services
Time Limit for Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit
Were you injured by a defective or dangerous product? If so, you have limited time in which to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. This time period is called the statute of limitations.
Generally, under North Carolina law, you have three years from the date of your injury to seek compensation for a defective product.
In addition, generally in North Carolina you must file a product liability suit within 12 years after the product was purchased – this rule is known as the statute of repose. There are some limited exceptions to this 12 year time limit.
If your loved one died as a result of a defective product, a claim for wrongful death in North Carolina must generally be filed within two years of the date of death.
If you fail to timely file your lawsuit, the court can permanently dismiss your case. That means you lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
How a Greensboro Product Liability Attorney Can Help You
When you’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective product in Greensboro, turn to a product defect lawyer at Ward Black Law. We can help you pursue the financial compensation that you need and deserve for your injuries and damages by:
- Investigating your accident – Your attorney can collect important evidence from your accident. The attorney can preserve the defective or dangerous product that injured you, as well as accident scene or injury photos, accident reports and medical records.
- Working with experts to build your legal claim – Your product liability claim may require expert testimony to explain how the product that injured you qualified as dangerous or defective. Experts can also show how the manufacturers or sellers of the product were negligent in allowing the product to end up in your hands. Your attorney can work with these engineering experts, along with medical, vocational, and financial experts, to legally prove your damages.
- Identifying liable parties – An attorney will identify all the liable parties in the chain of commerce. Many large corporations have complicated, layered insurance policies. Your attorney can also determine what kind of financial resources the liable parties have to compensate you.
- Negotiating a potential settlement with the insurance companies – Your attorney can file a claim with the negligent manufacturers and retailers and their insurance companies. Your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement of your product liability claim. A settlement can often provide you with fair compensation for your damages and financial losses.
- Preparing to take your claim to court, if necessary – When a favorable settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can pursue your claim in court, making sure that all court documents are properly filed. Your attorney will vigorously advocate on your behalf to the judge and jury.
If you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product in Greensboro, contact the product liability attorneys of Ward Black Law today. We will provide a free, no-obligation case evaluation by phone, in person or online. Learn more about how our product defect law firm can file a defective product lawsuit and help you secure the financial compensation you deserve.