When we purchase a product, we expect that it is safe to use and free from defects. Unfortunately, products are not always designed, manufactured, and appropriately packaged. We need to be informed of the legal steps we can follow if we, or someone we care about, get injured by a defective product. A Tampa personal injury attorney can help determine the best options of action and proceed with claiming compensation.
There are three different categories of defective products: three different ways under Florida law to protect yourself and file for a claim.
If the product’s design creates unreasonable damage to the consumer, the manufacturer may be held responsible for the defective product. For instance, if the battery storage of a toy is not correctly designed and leads to skin burns due to leaking batteries, the manufacturer can be held liable for the damages. The court will determine the reasonable harm based on the safety expectations of the consumer.
Even though the product’s design was safe, an unreasonable danger was created during the manufacturing process. This kind of defect is related to the manufacturing process and flaws created during that time. When a product causes damage due to faults occurring during packaging or distribution, the responsibility falls on the manufacturer. An example could be a bottle of a product being contaminated by a foreign object that should not be inside of it.
Failure to Warn
The packaging of a product should have on it all the necessary warnings by the manufacturer or distributor. If warnings are not placed on the product, the consumer can be eligible to claim damages. For example, a drug must include all the necessary information about side effects in an overdose case. Even though the product is well manufactured, its packaging fails to warn the consumer of the possible dangers.
In a defective product case like this, an experienced personal injury attorney has the knowledge to help you prove that if a reasonable warning existed on the package of the product, the risk of damage would be lowered or even eliminated.
Liability Claims in Florida
In Florida, there is a statute of limitations. There is a time frame of four years when you are willing to file a lawsuit and claim damages. The four years count from the date that you discovered the defect of the product.
However, there is also a 12-year statute you must be aware of. The manufacturer can be held liable for defective product injuries for 12 years after the product is delivered to the first buyer.
Another rule used by Florida courts in defective product cases is comparative negligence. The consumer can be found partially at -fault for their injury. This means that the compensation awarded to the consumer will be proportional to the liability.
The designer and the manufacturer’s scientific and technological skills at the time of the product creation are also taken into consideration for the overall calculation of liability.
Who is At-Fault For Injuries Caused by a Defective Product?
Each case is different depending on the circumstances someone got injured by a faulty product. However, more than one party may be responsible for the defective product in the chain of distribution. One or multiple parties of the product’s distribution chain below could be held liable for injuries and be sued:
- The product’s manufacturer
- The parts manufacturer
- The product’s installer or assembler
- The wholesaler
- The retailer
It is crucial to prove that you suffered injuries due to a product defect and be able to prove the defect and demonstrate that you were using it correctly.
Types of Defective Products
Many different types of defective products can cause injuries. Some examples are:
- Food Products: A contaminated food product might result in food poisoning.
- Medication or medical devices: Faulty medication or medical devices may create the opposite results than improving someone’s health condition.
- Cosmetics: There are often cases of cosmetics causing infections, allergies, or other dermatological injuries.
- Children’s products: Toys, clothing, or other products made for children must be safe. However, defective products may make their way into the shops, with harmful results if they reach the consumer.
- Household appliances: Defective appliances, such as toasters, dryers, or refrigerators, can pose severe dangers to consumers.
Steps After Being Injured By a Defective Product
To be able to prepare a case against the liable party for your damages, you should follow these steps:
- Stop the usage of the product and save it as it is.
- Go to the doctor for medical treatment and inform them how you got injured using the defective product
- Keep the packaging and manuals of the product.
- Keep the contact details of the people that might have witnessed the incident.
- Contact a personal injury attorney in Tampa.
Our highly skilled personal injury attorneys in Winters and Yonker law firm will help you identify the responsible parties for your injuries and create your plan of action to get fully compensated and cover your damages. Call us today for your free consultation.