If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a defective product, you should contact a Charlotte product liability lawyer to find out if you have legal options. An attorney might be able to obtain compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages.
The Nye Law Group’s Charlotte product liability lawyers have detailed knowledge of North Carolina statutes governing product liability claims. We know how to prove if a manufacturer or seller was negligent and caused your injuries. You do not have to worry about how to afford our services because we offer a free initial consultation and do not charge fees unless you receive compensation from your claim. We are located just 10 minutes away from the Johnson & Wales University campus on Trade Street.
Call our Charlotte product liability lawyers at 855-856-4212.
Types of Cases Our Attorneys Handle
At The Nye Law Group, our Charlotte product liability lawyers are prepared to take on cases involving many defective products, including:
- Defective car parts
- Dangerous drugs
- Defective medical products and devices
- Defective safety devices and equipment
- Dangerous toys
- Dangerous construction equipment or machinery
- Dangerous furniture for babies and toddlers
These dangerous products can cause death or a variety of serious injuries, ranging from broken bones and head injuries to infections, internal injuries and psychological problems.
Common examples of situations where a defective product causes injuries include:
- A defective drug causes severe injuries that require surgery or hospitalization
- A construction worker using scaffolding suffers severe injuries after it collapses
- A medical device implanted in a patient breaks or malfunctions, damaging surrounding organs and tissue
- An airbag fails to deploy in car accident, causing the driver to die or suffer severe injuries
There are many other situations where a defective product can cause death or severe injury. Contact our lawyers to find out if your situation entitles you to file a claim to obtain compensation.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Establishing Liability for a Defective Product
Unlike some states, North Carolina does not allow plaintiffs to use strict liability principles to hold companies liable for injuries caused by a defective product. Under strict liability, a company would be held liable as long as the plaintiff proved the product was defective and it caused his or her injuries, regardless of the company’s negligence.
However, it is harder to establish liability in North Carolina because you must prove the four elements of negligence, including:
- The company had a legal duty to sell a safe product.
- The company breached its duty by selling a dangerous product. Plaintiffs can establish a breach by proving the defendant knew or should have known the product was defective and the defendant acted unreasonably in designing, manufacturing or warning consumers about it.
- The defective product was the primary cause of your injuries, not some preexisting medical issue or other factor.
- Your injuries resulted in damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How to Prove Negligence
Our Charlotte product liability lawyers may be able to establish negligence for one of three issues with a product:
Manufacturing defects – These are problems related to the construction of the product or the materials used to build it. These defects are often created during the packaging or assembly of the product at the factory. For instance, negligence could occur in the maintenance of machines that fabricate different parts of the product.
Defective design – This occurs when the design or setup of the product makes it unreasonably dangerous for consumers. According to North Carolina general statute Chapter 99B-6, several factors will be considered to determine liability for defective design, including but not limited to:
- The adherence of the product to any applicable government standards when the product left the control of the manufacturer.
- The economic and practical feasibility of using an alternative design for the product.
- The uses of the product, including the safety, performance and advantages of this particular design.
- The level of risk associated with the design of the product, given the foreseeable uses or modifications to the product.
Companies will not be held liable if injuries were caused by an inherent characteristic of the product that could not be changed without compromising the usefulness of the product.
Failure to warn – Sometimes companies create products that have inherent risks even if consumers use them as intended. For example, a curling iron could become hot enough to severely burn your skin, but it has to get that hot to fulfill its intended use.
Companies are within their rights to produce these types of products as long as they provide sufficient warning to consumers about the dangers. Warnings must identify what the risks are and instruct users on how to avoid injury while using the product.
Our Charlotte product liability lawyers can carefully review your claim to find out if one of these issues applies to the product that caused your injuries.
Live chat with a representative or call us at 855-856-4212.
Requirements for Warning Labels
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has a long list of requirements for product warning labels, including colors, fonts, capitalization and the types of words to use.
For instance, a safety label must:
- Identify the danger
- Explain how to avoid the danger
- Inform the user of the consequences of failing to avoid the danger
Manufacturers should organize the information on the label based on the target audience and the reaction time required to avoid the hazard. The warning should use headline-style text and active voice statements.
Our Charlotte product liability lawyers can sift through ANSI’s myriad requirements to determine if the product that injured you had a sufficient warning label.
Call our Charlotte personal injury attorneys right now for a free consultation. 855-856-4212
Defenses for Manufacturers and Sellers
North Carolina general statutes lay out a variety of defenses that manufacturers and sellers can use when they face product liability claims.
For instance, defendants will not be held liable if they can prove that you made an unnecessary or unreasonable modification to the product. The only exceptions are if the modification was in accordance with product instructions or if the alteration was made with the express consent of the manufacturer or seller.
Chapter 99B-3 of North Carolina general statutes says an alteration includes changes to the design, formula, function or use of the product that was not intended by the manufacturer.
Chapter 99B-4 says companies can also avoid liability if it can show that:
- The plaintiff used the product in a manner contrary to instructions or warnings on the product or on the container or wrapping if he or she knew or should have known of these instructions or warnings.
- The user of the product discovered the defect and voluntarily or unreasonably exposed himself to the danger.
- The plaintiff failed to use reasonable care and this was the proximate cause of his or her injuries.
Sellers can avoid liability by showing the product was sold in a sealed container and the seller had no reasonable opportunity to inspect the product to discover the defect. However, sellers cannot use this defense if plaintiffs can show the seller damaged the product, the manufacturer is not under North Carolina jurisdiction or the manufacturer has been declared insolvent by the judicial system.
Our Charlotte product liability lawyers are prepared for the various defenses companies will use to avoid liability. We know how to build a strong case to counter these defenses and show why the company should be liable.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form or live chat with a representative.
Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Claims
North Carolina imposes two time limits on filing product liability claims: a three-year statute of limitations and a 12-year statute of repose.
The statute of limitations, which is a deadline for filing a legal claim, is three years from the date of injury or loss. If you do not file a claim before the deadline passes, you forfeit your right to file a claim.
North Carolina’s statute of repose is also a deadline for filing a claim. The statute says that product liability claims must be filed within 12 years of your purchase the product.
The Charlotte product liability attorneys at The Nye Law Group can determine the statutes of limitations for your claim and make sure to file a claim before the deadlines pass.
Contact our Charlotte Product Liability Lawyers Today
Manufacturers and sellers have a legal obligation to produce safe products. That is why we are firmly committed to holding companies liable for producing dangerous products and putting consumers at risk.
We may be able to help you recover various forms of compensation in your product liability claim, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Replacement cost for damaged property
Call 855-856-4212 to schedule your free legal consultation today.