Every product could cause harm if not used properly. The real danger lies with products that can cause harm even when used as instructed. Unsafe products that are sold to unknowing consumers present a huge risk to public safety. When injuries occur, victims have a right to seek compensation from the manufacturer or retailer.
Many people suffer product injuries every year without filing an official claim. They pay for medical treatments and prescription medications out of pocket. The manufacturer gets away with causing harm and the injured party suffers financial losses.
This is not how it should be. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, then you need to contact a product liability attorney in Delray Beach. The product liability lawyers at Steinberg Law have the experience needed to win cases against big manufacturers.
Florida Laws for Product Liability Cases
In Florida, you have a period of four years following an injury to file your claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. If someone is killed by an unsafe product, the family must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the loss.
The longer you wait to file your claim the more difficult it becomes to prove your case. We recommend calling a product liability lawyer as soon as you are safe and received medical care.
Winning a product liability case in Florida is no easy task. It requires a strong foundation and reliable evidence. It needs to be shown that the injuries you suffered are the direct result of the manufacturer or retailer.
Cases can be proven through traditional negligence or on a strict liability basis. Your product liability attorney in Delray Beach can help you determine the most effective strategy for approaching your case.
Common Causes for Legal Action
Product liability cases can fall into one of three different categories. These categories explain exactly how a specific product could be responsible for your injuries. They are defective design, manufacturing defects, and labeling defects.
A product is considered to have a defective design if it can be shown that the product does not perform as an ordinary consumer would expect. If there is an unreasonable or unexpected degree of danger, then the product presents a risk to public safety.
A consumer who uses a product as the design intends should expect not to be harmed. The company that designed the defective product will most likely be found liable for the victim’s injuries.
Sometimes, a product can have a perfectly safe design but still cause an injury when used as intended. This indicates that the problem is not with the design of the product, but rather the manufacturing process. A product can start the assembly process safely and be defective by the time it leaves the factory.
Once again, the manufacturer is the most likely party to be found liable.
Some products are inherently dangerous and require extreme care when being used. For example, harsh cleaning products that contain bleach can cause harm to the skin and eyes if not used properly.
Products like these require adequate labeling so that any consumer who purchases the product understands the dangers. If the product is not labeled and someone suffers an injury, then the manufacturer can be found liable.
How Is Liability for a Defective Product Determined?
Product liability cases in Florida can be proven using one of three theories. They are negligence, strict liability, and failure to warn.
Most product liability claims are based on strict liability.
In Florida, the manufacturer of a product is considered to be strictly liable for any defects in their products that cause injury. If a manufacturer places a defective product in a retail store, then they are liable for what happens when consumers use that product.
Lawyers do not need to prove that negligence occurred. However, they must prove the product qualifies as defective and that an injury occurred due to the defect.
Negligence can happen at nearly any moment in the design and production of a product. However, identifying the negligent party responsible for the injury can be difficult.
Negligence in Florida works according to a “pure comparative negligence” rule. This rule considers the relative negligence of all parties involved in the injury.
It may be that the defendant is only considered 40 percent responsible for the accident and the plaintiff is considered 60 percent. In this case, the plaintiff would only receive 40 percent of the compensation awarded.
Unlike in other states, a plaintiff in Florida can still seek damages even if they are more than 50 percent liable.
Failure to Warn
This is a third liability theory that does not require negligence to be proven. It needs to be shown that a product has clear risks and that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers. Warnings most often come in the form of hazard labels on certain products.
If a manufacturer knows that a product can be unsafe and they do not properly warn the public, then they are considered liable for the injuries that occur.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Damages?
Multiple parties involved in the production and distribution of a product could be held liable.
The majority of product liability cases involve a claim against the manufacturer. This could include any company that took part in the design and production of the product. A manufacturer can be an independent business owner or a massive corporation.
Florida’s strict liability laws apply to any business that designs or manufactures products for consumers. The liable manufacturer may have built the entire product or they may only be responsible for producing the defective component.
Every retailer in Florida has a duty to sell products that are safe and reliable. When they place a product on their shelves they are implying to the public that the product is safe. If not, then the product should be clearly labeled with a warning.
A retailer can be found liable for selling a defective product even if it had nothing to do with the design or production of the product.
Wholesalers operate very similarly to retailers. They may even sell products directly to consumers who buy in bulk. Just like retailers, wholesalers have a responsibility to sell safe products to the public. They can be found liable if a consumer purchased a product directly from them and that product later caused an injury.
Cases against wholesalers are not as common since most people buy their products directly from retailers.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Products?
Defective medical products can cause serious injury and lifelong disabilities. These types of cases are taken very seriously in the state of Florida. There are two key groups that can be held liable for defective medical products.
Hospitals and Clinics
Hospitals are expected to use, recommend, and prescribe medical devices that are safe for the public. This could range from something as simple as a blood pressure monitor to something as serious as a pacemaker.
Patients expect their doctors to have an understanding of these devices and how safe they are to use. If they fail to disclose this information or implant defective devices, then they could be found liable similar to the manufacturer of the product.
Doctors who recommend medical products and surgeons who implant them in patients should know whether the product is safe. If they recommend or install a defective product, then they can be found personally liable for the damage that is caused.
How Can Steinberg Law Help With Your Product Liability Case?
Our attorneys at Steinberg Law have an in-depth understanding of product liability law in Florida.
Whether it’s a defective medical product, a faulty power tool, or poorly-designed gym equipment, we will find who is responsible. We track down manufacturers, engineers, design specialists, retail owners, and everyone else involved in the supply chain of a defective product.
We work to find out who let this product reach consumers’ hands and why they didn’t do anything to stop it. Once we’ve identified the liable party we file for damages caused by the unsafe product.
Call a Product Liability Attorney in Delray Beach Today!
Defective products are more common than most consumers want to believe. Retail stores don’t always do their due diligence in terms of research. Manufacturers often overlook potential problems in hopes of saving a few dollars on each product. And doctors will recommend certain devices solely for the incentives.
All of these organizations are looking out for their own interests, but who is looking out for yours? You shouldn’t be forced to pay a lifetime of medical bills because of a negligent manufacturer.
That’s where our legal team at Steinberg Law comes into play. We are here to fight in your corner until you get the compensation you are owed.