Spinal Cord Injuries Caused by Defective Products in Charlotte
Most people assume that spinal cord injuries happen mostly from car accidents. While car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries, defective products are also a cause of spinal cord injuries. Every year, North Carolina residents become injured from defective products. Defective parts, defective products, defective toys, and defective vehicles can all cause serious spinal cord injuries. In fact, many consumer products are incredibly dangerous when defective.Filing a Defective Product Lawsuit for Spinal Cord Injuries
North Carolina law gives injured parties the right to file product liability lawsuits. These laws are intended to protect innocent consumers who are seriously injured or killed by using defective products or devices. In a product liability case, the plaintiff can bring a lawsuit against the manufacturers, designers, distributors, and retailers who created, distributed, and/or sold the defective product.Proving that a Defective Product Caused Your Spinal Cord Injury
Successful plaintiffs must prove several elements or factors in their product liability cases. The most important aspect of a product liability lawsuit is proving that the defendant breached a duty to create a safe product that he or she owes the consumer. In order to secure financial compensation for your spinal cord injury, you will need to prove the following:
- The plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to protect consumers during the design, manufacturing, or retailing process on the open marketplace
- The plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to provide the consumer with reasonable safety.
- The plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to meet his or her duty to inform the consumer of potential risks and consequential dangers.
- The plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered real injuries and damages from the spinal cord injury caused by using the defective product.
A defective product can arise from almost any type of consumer product. When defective, all of the following products can cause spinal cord injuries:
- Automobile parts
- Medical equipment
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Food products
- Playground equipment
- Heavy machinery equipment
- Motorcycle parts
- Semi-truck parts
- Sports equipment
North Carolina does not permit recovery under strict liability in product liability claims. Strict liability is expressly prohibited by North Carolina statute. A plaintiff in North Carolina must prove negligence in order to establish liability in a product liability claim. Three common theories used for recovery in product liability cases in North Carolina are:
- Design defects- for example, the product contained a flaw in the design that can cause injury when used by an innocent consumer.
- Manufacturing defects- for example, the product was made incorrectly.
- Failure to warn- for example, the product did not contain adequate warnings about the dangers associated with use of the product.
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most expensive types of injuries from which someone can suffer. The cost of medical care for a person suffering a high tetraplegia spinal cord injury is over $1 million for the first year. Care averages $185,000 per year thereafter. In addition to expensive medical costs, those who suffer spinal cord damage also suffer emotional trauma, which requires mental health care.
Many quadriplegic individuals become depressed while learning how to cope with being dependent on a wheelchair. Spinal cord injuries are often painful and extremely limiting. The feeling of not being active and able to engage in the same activities you once enjoyed can be traumatic and cause great emotional distress. Successful plaintiffs in defective product lawsuits can recover the following types of compensation:
- The cost of past and future medical care, including in-home care
- Compensation for a missed pass and future work due to a spinal cord injury
- Lost earning capacity
- A loss of support, enjoyment of life, and intimacy
- The cost of durable medical equipment needed to live with a spinal cord injury
- Compensation for medical pain, anguish, and suffering
- The cost of temporary or permanent nursing home facility care
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury caused by another person's defective product, our lawyers can help. You will need an experienced legal team behind you to bring a successful defective product lawsuit in Charlotte, North Carolina. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers can help you fight for your right to full financial recovery. We will help you fight for your right to adequate compensation for your injuries. Contact our Charlotte personal injury law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.