Daily life leads us to interact, use, and apply a multitude of products as soon as one gets out of bed. Unfortunately, one or more of these products may prove defective. Most are lucky and only need to throw a product away or return it to the store for a refund when they come across a defective product. The unlucky ones will sustain a mild to severe injury and might even lose their lives.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports millions of product-related emergency room visit each year that result from defective children's toys, chemicals, sports equipment, and a wide array of other types of products.
If you sustained an injury because of a defective product, Florida law may entitle you to compensation. Call (954) 302-7068 to speak with an experienced Aventura product liability lawyer at Dolman Law Group in Aventura, or email us. We can review your case and determine your eligibility to recover damages.
When Is a Product Defective?
Product liability laws vary among states; however, most states, including Florida, divide defective products into three distinct categories based on the type of defect they have:
- Design defects occur with an overly dangerous product design—the product is inherently dangerous when properly used. In Florida, the courts use the consumer expectation test for claims about defective product designs. When a manufacturer fails the consumer expectation test, they are liable because the product is less safe than reasonable consumers would expect when using it as directed.
- Manufacturing defects refer to defects from incorrectly building a product. On paper, the product appears safe, but mistakes in executing the plans resulted in a product that caused injury or death.
- Information defects come into play when those involved in a product's chain of distribution do not warn consumers about hazardous aspects of a product. With some products, a lack of instructions constitutes an information defect.
Product Liability Can Cause Many Injuries
With millions upon millions of consumer products, products liability injuries vary greatly in type and severity. Here are common injuries reported by the CPSC.
- Bruises, cuts, and scrapes
- Fractured bones
- Burns, including those from chemicals
- Amputations, scars, and disfigurement
- Long-term damage caused by ingesting poisonous substances
Liability and the Chain of Commerce
A wide range of parties might bear responsibility for a defective product. Any party involved with the product from its conception until it reaches the consumer's hand might face liability for a defect.
- Manufacturers – Manufacturers include any organization that designs and markets a product, including large global companies and people. In larger products such as motor vehicles, boats, and other machinery, the court might hold a parts manufacturer liable if its failure caused a defect.
- Wholesalers/distributors – A wholesaler that knows about a product defect that continues to distribute it might also bear fault for a defective product.
- Retailer – When a company chooses to sell a product, it implies that the product is safe for use. Some go as far as to provide testimonials and other marketing to make claims about safety. A retailer might bear liability for a product-related injury in these cases, even though it didn't design or build the defective product.
Compensation in Product Liability Injury Cases?
If you are injured because of a defective product, you might recover damages that include:
- Medical costs, including ambulance rides, hospital stays, doctor visits, etc.
- Lost wages for time missed from work related to your injury, including lost future wages in severe cases
- Property damage caused by the defective product
- Future medical costs for long-term conditions or disabilities
- Pain and suffering
In cases of gross negligence, the court might award punitive damages to punish the liable party. Florida law places the following caps on punitive damages:
- Punitive damages cannot exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $500,000, whichever is greater.
- In rare cases of egregious negligence or intentional fraud regarding the safety of a product, the court may award four times the amount of compensatory damages, or $2,000,000, whichever is greater.
Liable Parties Never Willingly Pay Full Compensation
Florida applies pure comparative fault to personal injury cases, including those that involve defective products. Comparative fault is the notion of shared liability. It gives the court the power to reduce damages based on the percentage of fault that you bear for your own injury. For example, if the court awards you damages of $200,000, but finds that you are 25 percent at fault for your own injury, it will deduct $50,000 from the award.
Manufacturers and other liable parties will use comparative fault to shift the blame to avoid paying the full cost of an injury victim's accident-related expenses. Expect the defense to suggest that you are at fault for some or all of your injury. It may claim that you used the product incorrectly or outside of its intended use. An experienced products liability attorney will protect you from these attacks and fight to get you the best possible outcome for your situation.
Call a Skilled Products Liability Lawyer in Aventura
Florida has a four-year statute of limitations on product liability claims, so discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. If someone that you love died as a result of a defective product, you have two years to file a wrongful death suit. Most lawyers offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. You most likely will not pay any attorney fees up front, because most attorneys handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. Your attorney will deduct attorney's fees from any settlement or judgment that you receive.
If you live in the Aventura area and were injured while using a defective product, let an experienced product liability lawyer worry about your legal case and guide you through the complex court process. Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA online or call at (954) 302-7068 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Aventura products liability attorneys.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
20803 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 101,
Aventura, FL 33180
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“So happy I chose Dolman Law Group!!! My experience with the law firm right from the start was fast, friendly and understanding. I started treatment for my injury right away, and while I was focusing on getting better the firm was fighting for me. Incredibly happy with the outcome, thank you to Brent and the team for all the hard work and updates.”
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