Millions of individuals in the United States are injured by defective products each year. Many people are surprised to learn that almost any type of consumer product has the potential to cause injury because of defects. Some products, such as power tools or recreational equipment pose obvious risks by the very nature of their function. Other products that may seem relatively benign, on the other hand, may actually potentially pose a greater risk than obviously dangerous products. For example, while you may not suspect that a laptop charger could cause serious injuries, defective design or manufacture of an electronic device can lead to fires or electric shocks causing severe burns.
Fortunately for people who are injured by consumer products, Florida products liability law allows victims to bring a legal claim in order to recover for the economic and non-economic losses that occur as a result. Product liability claims generally fall into one of 3 categories:
- Claims based on a product’s defective design – These kinds of claims arise when a product is designed in such a way as to make it unreasonably dangerous to use. Design defects typically affect all of the products that are manufactured, and often precipitate a large-scale recall.
- Claims based on a product’s defective manufacture – Claims based on defective manufacture arise when a product is unreasonably dangerous and causes injury because of issues in the manufacturing process.
- Claims based on marketing defects or a failure to warn – Legal claims can also be brought because of a party’s failure to warn consumers about nonobvious risks that could have been avoided by providing a warning.
The legal issues that often arise in a product liability case often be extremely complicated, so it is important for victims to discuss their situation with a Clearwater product liability attorney as soon as possible. It is important for victims to be aware that Florida product liability claims are subject to a strict statute of limitations, so any delay may result in the inability to pursue a lawsuit.
Florida product liability lawyers fighting for your rights
There are three main legal theories that plaintiffs pursue in product liability lawsuits.
Negligence – Claims based on negligence allege that the defendant was negligent in its design or manufacture of a product, and that its negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In the context of a product liability claim, “negligence” means that the defendant failed to act accordance with the applicable standard of care. There are many potential ways that the manufacturer of a product could be negligent, including the following:
- Failure to adequately test a product
- Failure to anticipate certain uses of a product
- Failure to warn consumers about nonobvious risks
- Failure to comply with applicable law or regulation
Breach of Warranty – Whenever products are sold, consumers rely on both implied warranties as well as express warranties. The implied warranty of merchantability requires goods to conform to the reasonable expectations of the buyer. Another warranty that is implied in the sale of consumer goods may be the product’s fitness for use for a particular purpose. An express warranty refers to statements made by the seller or the manufacturer regarding the product.
Strict Liability – Strict liability claims do not require a plaintiff to establish negligence, but rather hold manufacturers or others in the chain of distribution liable for any injuries their products cause regardless of fault. In order to hold a defendant strictly liable for injuries caused by a product, a plaintiff must establish:
- A relationship between the defendant and the product at issue
- A defect that caused the product to be unreasonably dangerous
- That the defect caused the injuries to the plaintiff
Determining under which theory to proceed depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Retaining an experienced attorney is the first step in ensuring that you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
What types of products can cause injury that may lead to a lawsuit?
As mentioned above, nearly any type of consumer product can cause an injury that could lead to a lawsuit. At the Dolman Law Group, we represent clients injured by a variety of consumer products, including the following:
- Medical devices
- Cars, trucks, and other vehicles
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Products designed for use by children
- Products that have been recalled due to unreasonable risk of injury
- Pools, hot tubs, and other related products
After a consumer product accident, it is important that victims seek medical attention immediately. Not only will seeing a medical professional ensure that your injuries are properly treated, it will also generate an official record that connecting your injuries to the accident.
Common injuries associated with consumer product accidents
The injuries that can be caused by defective consumer products are as varied as the products themselves. Some of these injuries can cause serious medical complications that may result in significant medical expenses and lost income, as well as other noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. Some of the more common injuries sustained by people injured by consumer products include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neurological injuries
- Illness or other medical conditions
Of course, there are many other injuries that can occur after an accident caused by a defective product. Because product defects are not always readily apparent, it is important for anyone injured by a consumer product to discuss their case with an attorney in order to determine whether they have a legal claim.
Contact a Clearwater product liability attorney today to schedule a free consultation
People who have been injured by consumer products may be entitled to significant compensation. While no amount of money can change the past, a financial settlement or award can certainly help victims meet their financial needs and hold those responsible for their injuries accountable. To schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced product liability lawyers of the Dolman Law Group, call our office today at (727) 451-6900, or fill out our online contact form available here.