Florida Product Liability Attorneys
Holding Manufacturers Accountable for Their Products
When you purchase a product, you expect it to work as directed and not be hazardous. Unfortunately, products sometimes have dangerous defects that put consumers at risk for injury, or even death. To protect consumers, the federal government monitors products in the marketplace and issues recalls when products are unsafe. Additionally, to hold companies responsible for making and distributing dangerous products, injury victims can bring product liability claims.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective product, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained. The damages can help pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, future long-term care, pain and suffering, and more. Our product liability attorneys in Florida have the experience and skill you need to pursue these damages.
The attorneys at Smith, Ball & Báez have helped Florida residents recover millions of dollars in product liability cases. Our recoveries have included a $4.5 million settlement in Martin County for head and neck injuries as a result of a defective product, as well as a $2 million settlement for a wrongful death claim in New Castle County.
With our help, you can take steps to receive the compensation you deserve while also protecting others from dangerous products. Help is just a call away – get started by calling (561) 500-HELP today.
Examples of Product Liability Claims
The team at Smith, Ball & Báez has represented numerous clients who have been injured or lost loved ones due to defective products.
Product liability claims usually involve the following types:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Failure to warn customers
- Breach of warranty
Smith, Ball & Báez has vast experience in handling a variety of product liability claims.
Examples of defective products are as follows:
- Defective or dangerous automobile equipment like seatbelts, airbags, or tires;
- Unsafe food products, including ones that contain foreign objects;
- Defective household products or appliances, like fans or space heaters;
- Faulty construction equipment, like scaffolding, cranes, or forklifts;
- Dangerous children’s toys, furniture, or other play equipment;
- Dangerous cleaning products or chemicals;
- Medications determined to be harmful; and
- Medical treatment devices.
Theories of Liability in Florida
Florida residents can pursue claims against manufacturers and other companies in the supply chain under different legal theories including strict liability, negligence, and breach of express or implied warranty. Under the strict liability theory, an injured party can file a claim against the manufacturer if the product is unreasonably dangerous, thereby causing injuries. You do not have to prove negligence on a strict liability claim.
Under the negligence theory, you must prove that the manufacturer or manufacturing chain was negligent. The negligence can be related to the design, production, or marketing of the product. You must also prove that the negligence caused the product to be dangerous.
Proving a Product Liability Claim
The method for proving your claim depends on the theory of liability you pursue. If an injured party is pursuing a strict liability claim, you must prove that the product was defective and that your injuries were a direct result of that defect. If you can prove these elements, then you can hold the product manufacturer strictly liable for your harm.
Proving a claim using the negligence theory is a bit more complex. As with strict liability claims, you must show that the product caused your injury. You must also prove that the manufacturer or company in the manufacturing chain (seller, supplier, etc.) was negligent, and you used the product as intended. Proving that you used the product as intended can be challenging, which is why many people choose to file strict liability claims. Your Florida product liability attorney will go over the evidence and determine which theory of liability is best for your case.
Types of Product Liability Cases
Product liability cases are generally based on one of three categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, or failure to warn consumers, also known as marketing defects.
- Manufacturing defects typically occur during the construction or assembly of the product, including using defective materials or poor workmanship. They also include when a company uses an improper manufacturing process.
- Design defects refer to a problem existing before the product was created. Design defects cases usually involve products that lack safety features or have structural defects. A design flaw is what makes the product inherently dangerous.
- Marketing defects occur when a product is sold without proper warnings or instructions. This defect is commonly seen with prescription medications.
Statute of Limitations & Statute of Repose
In general, Florida law requires that a product liability claim be brought within four years from the date of injury. If wrongful death is involved, there is a two-year statute of limitations or time limitation.
The state also has a statute of repose of 12 years. Once 12 years have passed since the date of purchase, you cannot file a suit. For instance, if a product causes an injury 13 years after you purchase it, you cannot file a product liability claim.
Determining the statute of limitations in a product liability case can be quite complicated and requires the assistance of an attorney, as there are a few exceptions to the information above. If you or a loved one is injured in a product liability matter, contact a knowledgeable attorney right away.
Also, in product liability cases, evidence must be preserved and chain of custody must be established to allow expert witnesses to examine and evaluate the defective product.
Find out more about how our Florida product liability attorneys can help by contacting us at (561) 500-HELP today.
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