How Is a Wrongful Death Due to a Defective Product Handled?
As a nation of consumers, we believe that products are checked thoroughly for any defects before they are put on the market that may cause injury or wrongful death. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and even well-known manufacturers make mistakes that cause hardship and loss of loved ones due to their negligence. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are 29.4 million injuries and roughly 21,400 deaths each year.
The grief and the financial loss shoppers experience are inexcusable, and they may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you whether this is possible given the elements of your case.
Morris Law Firm Myrtle Beach
Morris Law feels the anguish a family experiences when a family member dies due to negligence. Our staff and legal team band together to help you through this horrific time and work to protect a family’s rights. Clients know that we will be there for them throughout the process. If this happens to you, we will be there for you too. Call us at (843) 232-0944 to set up a free case review to get started or contact us online. We will help you file a product liability claim against the company that designed, made or sold the product.
Product Liability in a Wrongful Death
Product liability is born out of the obligation companies have to supply safe products for sale. The cases are brought into civil court by the individuals who were injured or, if a family member died due to a defective product, by the deceased’s family members. Product liability cases can be:
- Due to the product’s design: In this scenario, the product is defective before it reaches the manufacturer. Here, a wrongful death lawyer proves that the product was poorly designed and was responsible for the person’s demise.
- Manufacturing defect: The person’s death, in this case, is due to inferior construction or poorly made parts that cause an accident to happen. In addition, the company may be blamed for inefficient quality control or poor workmanship.
- Failure to warn: This premises liability element occurs when the manufacturer fails to warn consumers of possible dangers with the product. The bottom line here is could the warning have prevented the person’s wrongful death.
How Do I Know if My Family Has a Claim?
If a member of your family died due to faulty design, poor manufacturing or failure to warn, you may have a viable claim. There are three parameters you will need to satisfy:
- You must be a close family member.
- The deceased’s death was due to the defective product.
- The deadline to file is still in effect. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years from the time you were injured.
Do I Need to Prove the Manufacturer Was Negligent?
No. South Carolina operates under the theory of strict liability. This means the plaintiff (injured party or their family) does not have to prove negligence since manufacturers and designers are strictly liable for damages associated with the use of their product. The only parameters that must be followed are that the product was being used in the way for which it was intended, and the injured person had not altered it.
What Damages Can the Family Obtain?
This lawsuit is based on the loss the family experiences after their loved one’s demise. Some damages that can be recovered are:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of wages, benefits and job perks the deceased would have earned until the age of retirement
- The loss of inheritance the decedent’s children would have received
- Emotional suffering the family experiences
- The loss of consortium or companionship the spouse can file
- Lost emotional support
- The cost of hiring someone to do jobs such as tax prep or mowing the lawn normally done by the decedent
Morris Law in South Carolina
If a loved one dies due to a product defect, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer. Call the Morris Law Firm at (843) 232-0944 to get started. You can also reach us online.