Any time you are injured by a defective product in Columbia, South Carolina, you are likely entitled to compensation from the designer, manufacturer, and/or distributor of that product. You seek this compensation by filing a product liability personal injury claim. It is important to be aware that if your own error is what caused the injury, you will not be entitled to compensation, but also to note that sometimes what you think was your own error was actually the product malfunctioning or being provided without sufficient instructions and warning.
Which Entity is Liable For Your Personal Injury?
To figure out which entity might be liable for your personal injury claim, you have to consider what caused the product defect. Was it an error in the design process, the manufacturing process, or the distributing process? This can be difficult to ascertain when you are dealing with a sudden injury and no way of knowing exactly why. This is why it is important to contact a Columbia, South Carolina personal injury attorney as quickly as possible to make sure that your claim is started quickly, that a thorough investigation is completed to identify what caused the defect, and that the evidence of this defect causing your injury is present and strong.
Seeking Medical Treatment is the First Step
You will find the already complicated process of filing a product liability claim far more difficult if you do not seek medical treatment for your injuries immediately. You are going to have to be able to tie the product defect incident with the injuries that you sustained, and you don’t want there to be any question about when or how the incident occurred or whether or not the injuries were directly related to that incident. You can take photos of the damage and the injuries prior to treatment, to start collecting evidence from the get go, but do not hesitate to get the medical attention that you require, even if you think the injury is not too serious.
Securing Your Product Liability Case with Evidence
Do not throw away or otherwise dispose of the product that caused your injuries. Without the product, you will not have a case. Keep the defective product, all components, and all of the packaging, instructions, and warnings, if possible. If you still have the receipt, then you should hold onto this as well. As mentioned, above, taking pictures of the damage and injuries is also a good idea to contribute to the evidence of the your claim.
Class Action Lawsuits Related to South Carolina Product Liability Claims
In some cases, there may be a class action lawsuit associated with your product liability claim. This often happens when something went wrong at the design or manufacturing phase of production, and multiple people were affected by the same defect and/or injuries. These are also known as mass tort litigation or multi-district litigation claims. The goal of a class action lawsuit is to handle defective product issues that are too wide reaching to reasonably handle one at a time, and to minimize the costs associated with several individual lawsuits. However, you may not have to opt in to the class action lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to opt out and pursue your own individual product liability claim. You can discuss your options and the pros and cons of each path with your Columbia personal injury lawyer.
Discussing Your Product Liability Claim with a Columbia, SC Personal Injury Attorney
Once you have taken all necessary steps to collect and maintain evidence and seek medical treatment, you will want to contact a Columbia, SC personal injury attorney to discuss your product liability claim. Without a lawyer, you are more likely to make mistakes, miss steps, overlook important evidence, and end up with a settlement that doesn’t cover your damages or without any compensation for your damages. An attorney will be able to advise and direct you towards the best possible outcome, while representing your best interests in the face of a substantial and expensive legal opposition. Many large companies that produce products are going to have the resources to hire an entire legal team to argue against the value of your damages or the legitimacy of your claim. Further, if there is a class action lawsuit that you might benefit from joining, your attorney is likely to know about it.
Even so, there is no guarantee that your case is going to be successful. Fortunately, the majority of personal injury attorneys, those at the Connell Law Firm included, will take your case on a contingency fee agreement. This means that you will not have to pay your attorney up front, and you will not have to pay your attorney at all if the claim is not resolved in your favor. The attorney’s fees come out of your compensation, so if there is no compensation, there is no fee.
Having said that, you should not automatically assume that any personal injury attorney you speak to is going to charge with the same contingency fee system. Seek free consultation from different firms and ask them about how they charge their clients, and how your case will be handled. Make sure that the lawyer isn’t going to charge you regardless of the outcome. This means that they have an incentive to take your case even if it can’t be won. Attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis have no such incentive and will only take your case if it has merit.
In some cases, an attorney may work on a contingency fee basis, but will require you to pay the legal fees, such as court fees, yourself. In other cases, the attorney will cover these expenses, which will then come out of your compensation along with their own professional fees.
The Connell Law Firm is Here For You
At the Connell Law Firm, we know how to investigate your product liability claim, analyze and present your evidence, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation with our compassionate South Carolina product liability legal team and learn more about how we can help you.