Skilled Charlotte Product Liability Attorneys
Representing North Carolinians hurt by defective products and devices
We use hundreds, if not thousands, of products every day. We trust that they will work as advertised like they should and won’t cause us harm. When serious injuries result from a defective product, it may come as a shock. Often, the real surprise arrives when the victim of a defective product must cope with the fallout of an injury – medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, severe pain, lasting disability, or even the death of a close relative.
Jeff Warren and Chris Kallianos have devoted their entire legal practice to helping injured people of North Carolina and their families secure the compensation they deserve. With 58 years of combined legal practice, the Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Warren & Kallianos have obtained substantial financial recoveries on behalf of seriously injured individuals, including victims of defective products.Our attorneys have the legal knowledge, resources, and skill needed to fight for clients who have been injured by unsafe or defective products.
Types of Product Defects
A product may be defective in several ways. Product defects fit into one of three categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, and warning defects.
A manufacturing defect is a problem with the materials or construction of the item itself. For instance, if the seats in a vehicle are attached with a bolt that had a hairline crack when it was manufactured, making it too weak to hold the force of the seat slamming forward during a car accident, the bolt may be said to have a manufacturing defect. If the flawed bolt had been replaced with another bolt of the same design but without the flaw, the bolt would do what it is intended to do, and the defect would be fixed.
Manufacturing defects can be particularly dangerous because, in many cases, there is simply no way to know that the defect exists until the item fails, breaks, or causes harm. For example, even a trained mechanic may not be able to tell that the bolt holding the vehicle seat had a flaw simply by looking at it. Special testing may be needed to identify the defect.
A design defect occurs when the item meets the manufacturer’s specifications – in other words, there were no mistakes made at the factory – but the structure or setup of the item makes it unreasonably dangerous. For example, picture a clothing rack that was designed with sharp spikes at the end of each bar. These spikes may cause injury if a shopper brushes or falls against the clothing rack. This could be considered a design defect, because if the rack were designed differently (say, with smooth plastic caps on the ends of the bars), it would no longer pose a danger to customers who brushed against it and the defect would be fixed.
While some design defects can be spotted before they cause harm, like the spiked metal rack, some cannot. This is more likely to be the case when an item contains complex or specialized parts. Even some household appliances may have design defects that the user could not identify without training in engineering.
Not all consumer products can be made completely safe. Some products pose risks just by their design or intended use. For instance, a curling iron may get hot enough to burn skin because it must get this hot to curl hair. An electric saw may have a blade sharp enough to cut a finger because the blade must be this sharp to cut wood. The risk is part of what the product is intended to do.
In such cases, companies that offer the product for sale must include warnings with the product. The warnings should identify the risk and help users avoid injury while still using the product in the way it was intended to be used. When the warnings are missing or inadequate, the company may be liable for injuries that the product causes.
Common Injuries Caused by Defective Products
When a defective product causes harm, an injured person may seek compensation for the losses related to that harm. Examples of cases in which a defect causes an injury include:
- A design defect in a crane at a construction site causes it to overturn, injuring the operator.
- Unsafe chemical containers cause an explosion in a manufacturing facility.
- A defective scaffold collapses, injuring the workers who were using it.
- Due to a manufacturing error, the tread of a tire separates causing a blowout that triggers an accident.
An injured person may also be able to receive compensation if the defective product caused an injury, or made a condition worse than it would have been otherwise. These types of claims are common when a safety component contains a defect. For example:
- Injuries suffered in a car accident are made worse when a defective fuel tank causes an explosion
- A car accident injury is made worse when the air bag fails to deploy during the crash
- A defective hardhat shatters in a construction accident instead of protecting the worker’s head
If the case is particularly egregious, the injured person may also be able to seek punitive damages. Unlike damages for items like medical bills or lost wages, punitive damages are not intended to pay back the injured person for his or her loss. Instead, they are used to punish the company that acted recklessly or intentionally, as well as send a message to the community that such outrageous behavior will not be tolerated.
Why You Need Help from Our Charlotte Injury Lawyers When a Product Causes Harm
We are committed to treating every client with respect and giving every case our full attention. When you contact our firm about an injury caused by a defective product, you will work directly with a Charlotte product liability attorney. Firm founders Chris Kallianos and Jeff Warren are ready to put their extensive knowledge gained over decades of legal practice to work for you.
Some of the actions we often take when handling defective product cases include:
- Working with engineering experts to determine how the defective product caused your injuries.
- Consulting with medical experts and financial experts to determine the severity of your injuries and the extent of your economic losses
- Handling all communications with the defendant and the courts, including making sure that all documents are filed properly, and all deadlines are met
- Engaging in aggressive settlement negotiations
- Preparing to argue your case in court if the defendant refuses to make an acceptable settlement offer
Are you worried about how much it will cost to hire an attorney to handle your defective product claim? Let us put those concerns to rest. At Warren & Kallianos, you do not pay us anything upfront. In fact, we don’t collect legal fees unless and until we recover compensation for you.
Compensation You May Be Entitled to Recover for Injuries from a Defective Product
The amount and types of compensation that you may be able to seek will depend on the circumstances of your situation – how badly you were injured, how your injuries affect your ability to work, how long your impairments are expected to last, among other factors. Some examples of types of compensation that may be available in a product defect claim include:
- Compensation for all medical expenses related to your injury, including the cost of future medical treatment or procedures you may need.
- Replacement of lost pay due to missed time from work, and compensation to cover reduced or lost wages in the future if your injuries limit your ability to earn a living.
- Compensation for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress you have suffered due to the injury.
- Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the at-fault party for exceptional misconduct.
At Warren & Kallianos, we are committed to delivering personalized service to all our clients throughout North Carolina. We will take the time review the details of your case, fully understand your situation, and outline all your options for pursuing compensation. Our Charlotte product liability attorneys will also stay in touch to keep you and your family informed about how your case is progressing.
We Can Investigate Your Accident and How the Product Hurt You
The defective product attorneys at Warren & Kallianos are prepared to thoroughly investigate your situation and advise you of your legal rights and options about making a defective product claim. Attorneys Jeff Warren and Chris Kallianos devote their entire legal practice to helping injured North Carolina residents and their families.
If you have been injured by a defective product, you are welcome to call 704-377-7777 or contact us now for a free consultation.