Getting into an accident can be a scary experience, but it is worse when you get hurt using something you thought was safe. Whether it is driving a car, firing up a new lawn mower, using a new kitchen appliance, or playing with your child’s new toy, you expect the product you bought to be well made and safe to handle. But this is not always the case. There are products that are created and manufactured in such a way that they put people who use them in danger. From large to small items, defective products can lead to serious injuries. If you suffered an injury due to a dangerous product and now you have medical expenses and lost wages, do not wait to call the skilled Charlotte personal injury attorneys of Ted A. Greve & Associates. We have experience in product liability cases and can help you determine the person or business at fault and recover damages in order to move on with your life.
Product Defects Can Lead to Injuries
All you have to do is look at the product recalls posted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to understand that almost anything can be a dangerous product if it designed or made incorrectly. At the end of July, Loot Crate, Inc. recalled Marvel Thanos Infinity Gauntlet oven mitts. Why? Because despite being oven mitts, these products lacked thermal protection leading to burn hazards. About 360,000 products were sold in the U.S. and Canada, and there were 241 reports of burn injuries.
Another example of a dangerous defective product is the E. Mishan & Sons, Inc. UComfy Neck and Shoulder Heat Wrap. About 10,000 units were sold in the U.S., and there were 16 reports of the heat wraps overheating. Three of these instances led to burns. A product that is supposed to bring comfort and relief could lead to an injury without the person doing anything wrong.
Going to Court Due to a Product-Related Injury
It is not enough to claim a product was defective and it led to your injuries. If you wish to negotiate an insurance settlement or take the party responsible for your injuries to court, you will need to understand the type of defect the product had and who was ultimately responsible for that defect. The person or company who caused that defect may be the party you have to take to court – and it may not be who you initially thought. It is best to speak with an attorney regarding defective products so that you can begin an investigation into the exact cause of your injuries and the source of the defect.
Types of Defects
There are three types of product defects that can lead to injuries and product liability:
- Manufacturing defect: This may be the defect people most commonly think of when a product is dangerous. In a manufacturing defect, the companies who built or assembled the product did so incorrectly. A product with manufacturing defect is flawed and does not uphold its original design. It ends up being dangerous because it was not made properly. An example of a manufacturing defect may be when a bicycle is built with a bent wheel or a blender is assembled without a key component.
- Design defect: In a manufacturing defect, one or more of products can be defective, making them dangerous. In a design defect, all of the products are inherently dangerous, even when they are made properly. It is the specific design of that product, not how it was created or assembled, that caused the risk of injury to people who use the product. An example of a design defect is when an all-terrain vehicle is poorly balanced and tends to flip over and turns.
- Failure to warn: The last type of defect is not about how the product was designed or made. The product itself may be fine, but the creators or sellers of the product understand that if the product is used in a certain way, it could be harmful. Because they know this, they need to warn consumers about the danger. A failure to warn can come from the manufacturers or sellers not including any information in the packaging for the product or on the product itself. An example of a failure to warn may be that a toy has numerous small parts that detach and could be choking hazards for children.
North Carolina’s Product Liability Law
Every state has its own laws regarding products that cause injury, defining who may be liable based on the circumstances of the situation. Unlike other states, North Carolina does not follow a strict liability theory. Under strict liability, a person or business can be liable for damages without the injured party having to prove fault. In North Carolina, if you were hurt by a product, you must prove the other party’s negligence – this is why it is crucial to understand the type of defect, how it led to your injury, and the party responsible for that defect.
For a manufacturing defect, you will need to show that the product you used was not built or completed based on its design. You must be able to show that there was a flaw – a departure from the design – and that this flaw is what led to your injuries when you tried to put the product to its normal use.
In order to successfully sue a company for defective design, you must prove that the business acted unreasonably in designing the product the way it did and that there was a safer, feasible alternative that could have been used and would not have decreased the usefulness or desirability of the product. This can be a difficult theory to file a lawsuit under, so it is important to work with experienced attorneys.
Claims based on a failure to warn can also be difficult to prove – but never impossible. You will need to show in court that the other party created an unreasonable danger when its product left its possession without adequate warnings or instructions, and any manufacturer should have known that the product posed a substantial risk to users without the proper warnings.
Contact a Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were hurt and you believe it was because of a defective product, call the dedicated personal injury legal team in Charlotte, NC at the law office of Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. right away. They will get the ball rolling on an investigation immediately and will gather the evidence you need to prove a defect and that this defect is what caused your injuries.