Initially, the most frustrating thing about a motor vehicle accident is trying to deal with the insurance company regarding property damage to your vehicle. Immediately after the accident, you should…
Miami Product Liability Attorney
Defective and dangerous products come in many forms. Product and vehicle malfunctions result from poor design, reliability, manufacturing or defects and can result in serious injury including death. It’s safe to say that pretty much any consumer product has the potential to cause injury if the product is defective in some way. Most consumers reasonably believe that the products being sold to them are safe to be used in their homes. Sadly, not all products live up to that standard. When products cause injuries to victims due to poor design, poor quality, or a manufacturing or product defect, injured victims can seek compensation for their pain, medical expenses and lost wages with a product liability claim. An experienced Miami products liability attorney will be able to help you build your soundest possible case so that you can recover the maximum amount of damages that you are entitled to.
Handling Defective Product Cases in Florida
Most products sold in the United States must meet health and safety standards established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC is a federal agency that sets product safety standards and informs the public about product recalls. However, if a defective product or vehicle injures you or a family member, your rights to compensation will be based primarily on Florida law. There are many details involved in product liability lawsuits for defective and dangerous products. For instance, Florida and all other states have specific laws that apply to product liability suits. This includes laws that create deadlines for filing of claims aka statutes of limitations, laws that limit the amount of compensation you or your loved one may be entitled to from the at fault party and laws that affect the apportionment of liability amongst all of the responsible parties.
Product liability claims require a thorough investigation of the product and what caused it to be defective, as well as determining which party in the manufacturing chain is responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries. Depending on the nature of the defect, various parties could be held responsible under product liability law including the: manufacturer, parts manufacturer, packaging company, wholesaler and even the retailer. The attorney you choose to represent you for a dangerous or defective product claim should have ample experience with these types of cases as well as good communication throughout the entire legal process. At Suarez & Montero, we have extensive experience with all manner of product liability cases including defective auto parts, faulty medical equipment, and substandard consumer products. Product liability cases tend to be complicated and hard-fought, and they can be difficult to win on your own. Companies are reluctant to admit fault and will pull out all the stops to shut your case down. To give yourself the best chance at success, you need the help of an experienced Florida injury attorney who will fight on your behalf!
Understanding Product Liability Laws in Florida
In Florida, when a product injures a consumer user while being used as intended, the product’s manufacturer will be held “strictly liable” for the injuries. The manufacturer and others involved in the design, manufacturing, and sale of the product may also be found liable for negligence relating to the product. In a products liability action against a manufacturer or retailer of a product, the plaintiff has the burden of establishing whether the action is based on negligence, breach of warranty, or strict liability, that a defect was present in the product, that the defect proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and that the defect existed at the time the manufacturer or retailer parted with possession of the product. The fact of malfunction of and a defect in a product can be proven by direct or circumstantial evidence and proof may be aided by appropriate inferences. Evidence of other accidents involving the particular product is admissible to prove the dangerous or defective character of the product and the defendant’s knowledge of the character of the product, provided that the other accidents occurred under substantially similar circumstances and are not too remote in time.
Although the essence of a products liability action is a product defect, a distinction must be made between a design defect and a manufacturing defect. The design of a product is the idea or concept behind the product, while the manufacture is the physical process by which the product is produced. A product may be defective due to a design defect or a manufacturing defect, or both. Thus, in any products liability action the product involved must be examined closely to determine whether the defect is due to the design or the manufacture of the product, or both, so that appropriate proof can be presented.
Injuries Caused by Defective Products
Injuries sustained from defective products can range from mild to very severe. Some of the most common injuries stemming from product liability accidents include:
- Shoulder injuries
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Sprains and fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Fractured bones
- Head injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Defective Product Cases
Types of Product Liability Lawsuits
Florida law provides that the manufacturer of a defective product may be subject to liability under two theories: negligence and strict liability. It has been said that products liability cases under Florida law require proof of two things: first, that the product is defective, and second, that the defect caused plaintiff’s injuries. With regard specifically to a cause of action for negligence in a products liability case it has been said that under Florida law the elements of such a cause of action are: (1) the manufacturer must have a legal duty to design and manufacture a product reasonably safe for use; (2) the manufacturer must fail to comply with that duty; (3) the plaintiff must have an injury that is legally caused by the manufacturer’s breach of duty; and (4) the plaintiff must have suffered damages. Furthermore, it has been stated that to assert a claim for a defective product, whether the claim is for negligence or strict liability, a plaintiff must show: (1) that a defect was present in the product; (2) that it caused the injuries complained of; and (3) that it existed at the time the retailer or supplier parted possession with the product.
Defective Products and Consumer Rights
Thousands of defective products with the potential to injure or kill consumers are sold each year in the state of Florida. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure their products meet safety requirements long before consumers purchase their items. A drive to increase profit margins has caused some manufacturers to overlook safety requirements in a rush to make more sales. Sadly, manufacturing mishaps, design defects and inadequate product warning labels can lead to catastrophic and even life-threatening personal injury accidents. As a consumer, you have a right to bring a products liability claim against any of the parties in manufacturing chain, including the component parts manufacturer, the assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retail store owner.
Compensation Available to Victims of Defective Products
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that if you are partially at fault for an accident, you may still file a lawsuit, but your recovery of damages will be reduced in proportion to your fault. Therefore, if a defective product causes $100,000 in damage to your property, but you were 70 percent at fault, your $100,000 award will be reduced by $70,000. Manufacturers often fail to adequately test their products or simply cut corners to save money. However, they have a legal responsibility to consumers and should be held liable for product liability injuries that result in medical bills, lost income, physical and emotional stress, rehabilitation and more. If you’ve been injured, rest assured that the product’s manufacturer will have a team of attorneys representing its best interests. To give yourself the best chance at success, you need the help of an experienced Florida injury attorney who will fight on your behalf!
Product Liability Claims & Settlement
Insurance adjusters are not on your side. They solely want to protect the interests of their employer—the insurance company they may tell you that “you don’t need an attorney” and “we can work something out,” but do not fall for this trick. They know that they can settle your case with you for far less than if you had a lawyer advocating on your behalf. An experienced lawyer can help guide you through the claims process and offer expert insight on how to proceed in every aspect of your products liability claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a very important decision. Your lawyer will represent your interests in settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company and may have to represent you in court should you and your attorney decide that filing a personal injury lawsuit is in your best interest. You should make sure that your attorney is someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.
Contact Our Miami Products Liability Attorneys Today!
If you sustained injuries due to a defective product, you shouldn’t have to bear the entire financial weight of those injuries. Companies should be held accountable for their defective, dangerous products. Assess the strength of your claim by speaking with a miami product liability attorney who is familiar with Florida’s product liability laws. The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero represents consumers in various types of products liability claims. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
Many vehicles on the road today can be extremely complex, containing countless parts and systems that all work together. Motor vehicle accidents typically occur because of defective automotive parts. An…
Under products liability, strict liability is applied to impose liability on manufacturers of defective products that cause injury. Courts developed strict products liability for four basic reasons. The idea behind…
Frequently Asked Questions
The term “products liability” refers to the liability of a manufacturer, seller, or other person responsible for placing a product into the stream of commerce, for personal injuries, death, or property damage resulting from the use, storage, or consumption of the product.
A defendant in a product liability case may argue that the product was modified after it left their control, or that unforeseeable misuse of the product was the sole cause of the damage. Another argument that is often utilized is to claim that injured victim knew about the danger of using the product and assumed the risk anyway.
Florida law allows you to hold designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors liable for the injuries you suffer because of their products. The state also allows family members to file a claim and collect compensation on behalf of a loved one who died in an accident caused by a defective or dangerous product.
It has also been stated that under Florida law to prevail on a products liability claim sounding in negligence, a plaintiff must establish: (1) a duty or obligation recognized by the law requiring the defendant to protect others from unreasonable risks; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a reasonably close casual connection between the conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) actual loss or damages.