We just got through the season of giving, but that also makes it the season of getting for a lot of people. If you or someone love was injured due to a seeming defect in one of their new toys – literal or figurative – you might be feeling angry. You might be wondering if you have a legal case against someone because of the problems cause by their product.
It depends. Under Florida law, there are three different general ways that a product can be deemed defective. Understanding these three defect categories can both give you a decent sense of whether you have a viable case and let you know what type of case you are likely looking at if you decide to file a claim.
Below, we’re going to detail the three types of product defect categories and explain what protections you have under Florida law.
If the design intended by the manufacturer turns out to present an unreasonable hazard to the consumer, the manufacturer may be held liable for defective design in your case.
Florida courts will determine reasonable hazards based on a test of consumer expectations. If a reasonable consumer would expect the product to be safe under intended use, but the product fails to meet this reasonable expectation, the manufacturer’s liability would be primary.
An example of this would be an improperly designed battery storage component on a toy, which could lead to burns from leaking batteries.
This type of defect occurs during the manufacturing process itself. That means the product design was safe, but as it was being made, flaws in the manufacturing process created unreasonable danger.
The manufacturer can be held liable for a product that causes injury due to defects that occurred between the design process and the packaging or distribution process.
For example, a foreign object could enter a bottle of pills during the manufacturing process, leading to contamination.
Failure to Warn
If a manufacturer or distributor fails to place adequate and appropriate warnings on the packaging of the product, this is another way that they can be held liable for consumer injuries.
A common example of this would be a drug that does not include complete warnings of possible side effects for overdoses. The product may have been designed and manufactured properly, but the packaging failed to reasonably warn the consumer of the known dangers.
With this kind of product defect case, your attorney will need to prove that the risk of injury would have been lowered or eradicated with a reasonable warning.
How Florida Liability Claims Work
Statute of Limitations. You have a limit of four years to file a product liability lawsuit in Florida. What that means is that you have four years from the date that you discover the problem to file a claim.
However, it is also important to note that there is also a 12-year statute of repose. This means that 12 years after a product is delivered to the first purchaser, the manufacturer cannot be held liable for harm in most cases.
Comparative Negligence. Florida courts use the comparative negligence rule in product liability cases. This means that if you are found partially at fault for your injury, the court will award payment to you based on the percentage of liability.
For example, if a product caused $50,000 in damage to your home, but you were found 50 percent liable, your maximum award would be $25,000 from the at-fault party.
The court will take into account the scientific and technological knowledge of the designer and manufacturer at the time the product was made and consider how that bears on the overall liability.
Get Legal Assistance
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. Call today for a free case review.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills? In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than [..]
For many people, the last night of the year is the most fun. You dress up, get together with all of your friends, have some booze, hit the clubs, and ring in the new year. What happens when your New Year’s Eve isn’t so fun, though? We’re not just talking about hangovers. Sticky floors, spilled [..]
No matter what type of sendoff you choose to give a deceased loved one, you want it to be respectful of them. This why many people turn to funeral homes – in the hope that they will show their loved one the care and dignity they deserve on their journey to their final resting place. [..]
You’ve probably heard the old superstition, “What you do at New Year’s is what you’ll be doing all year.” Well, a recent study by SmartAsset (a financial website) finds Florida drivers rank among the worst. Factors contributing to the rank included insured driver statistics, DUI data, and average fatalities per miles driven. SafeAuto.com also reported [..]
No one wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room, but every year about 500,000 US families are forced to do just that because of child injuries. Unfortunately, child accidents become much more common over the holidays, putting a damper on the season for Florida families, and potentially leading to serious – or even [..]
Electrical mishaps with Christmas decorations are a common theme of classic Christmas comedies. However, in real life, electrical hazards are nothing to laugh about. Electrical fires, such as those resulting from faulty holiday decorations, cause about 25% of all house fires. Moreover, Christmas tree fires are a leading cause of house fires around the [..]
Although parking lot crashes are rarely high-speed, they do happen – a lot of them. Moreover, parking lot accidents often result in expensive repair bills and insurance increases. A parking lot crash can also cause serious or even fatal injuries, especially if pedestrians are involved. Below we’re going to break down how parking lot auto [..]
Consumer products regulations ensure that most products on the market are safe for their intended use. However, some consumer products companies push the boundaries of regulations or cut corners in the design or manufacturing process, which can lead to dangerous defective products reaching US consumers. When consumers are injured by a defective product, it may [..]
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence, and it can take many different forms. For example, it may be based on a negligent action that the doctor took, or conversely, on something the doctor failed to do. However, in order to successfully hold a doctor liable for medical malpractice, you must be able [..]
Florida policyholders purchase insurance and pay premiums with the understanding that – should disaster strike – their insurer will pay out damages to compensate for losses covered in the policy. That’s the whole point of insurance! Paying out covered damages is considered to be acting in good faith on the part of the insurance company. [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
School is out, but that doesn’t mean your child has to be stuck at home for the summer with no structure and nothing to do. Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active, supervised, and having fun – while also allowing them to branch out. However, summer camps come with a lot [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
The recent death of a Tampa couple is an example of what might have been a potential product liability lawsuit had they lived. On Thanksgiving Day, Kevin and Michelle Livingston were traveling home from a visit to south Florida. Reports indicate that their sport utility vehicle drove into the waters of a canal along [..]
This law firm helped me with my car accident case and helped me to get the most of the medical benefits that were needed after the accident, and gave me fair and helpful expectations on what I would recieve back for the pain and suffering after the accident.