When a Dangerous Product Injures You…
When you buy a product, you generally expect it to be safe to use. As a consumer, you rely on the manufacturer to design a product that will not cause harm when used as intended. You also rely on the retailer that sells you the product not to sell you merchandise that has been recalled or is dangerous.
Sometimes, however, the unexpected happens, and dangerous products are sold to the public and they cause serious injuries. From cars that catch on fire when their fuel tanks explode to drugs that cause adverse effects, dangerous products are a significant cause of harm to innocent consumers who rely on their safety.
Product liability is an area of personal injury law that deals with defective products. Manufacturers often have strong reasons to keep a defective product secret. Product recalls and lawsuits cost companies big bucks and injure their brand identity. Product liability lawsuits and actions by government regulators help make manufacturers accountable for the safety of their products.
When Are Manufacturers Liable for Defective Products?
Florida law provides that manufacturers are strictly liable for dangerously defective products. This means that a consumer injured by a dangerous product does not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligently or intentionally produced a dangerous product. Rather, the consumer only needs to show that the product is unreasonably dangerous when used as intended. The law eases a consumer’s burden of proving liability because manufacturers are in the best position to design, test, and sell products that are safe.
The law groups product defects into three categories: design, manufacturing, and marketing defects. Marketing defects occur when a product is advertised or sold for a purpose other than its intended use. This type of defect may include inadequate warnings. Design defects are conditions that are inherent in a product’s design. For example, a lawnmower with a fuel filter made of flammable material would be a design defect. Manufacturing defects are problems that occur during the manufacturing process. In other words, a product that has a manufacturing defect was produced in a way that didn’t conform to the manufacturer’s own specifications for it.
It is important to note that Florida law makes all parties in the chain of distribution of a defective product strictly liable. So, if you purchased a defective lawnmower at Home Depot that caused you an injury, you can sue Home Depot as well as the manufacturer. Depending on the retailer’s contract with the manufacturer, the retailer may be able to recover against the manufacturer.
Proving Your Case
To win your defective product case, you must prove the following elements:
Loss. You must show that you suffered an actual injury or financial loss as a result of using the manufacturer’s product.
Defect or failure to warn. You must prove that the product was 1) defectively designed, 2) defectively manufactured or 3) that the manufacturer knew or should have known of the product’s risks and failed to warn you.
Cause. You must show that the defect caused the injury.
Product used as intended. You must show that your injury occurred when you were using the product as the manufacturer intended it to be used.
In a product liability suit, you can recover compensation for:
Medical bills for treatment of injuries caused by the defective product
Emotional distress resulting from the accident or injuries
Pain and suffering
Wrongful death if the defective product caused the death of a family member
Many product liability cases are resolved in class action lawsuits because dangerous products often cause injuries to many consumers in different areas. John Clarke can help you decide whether joining a class action product liability lawsuit is in your best interest.
Free Consultation with a Fort Lauderdale Products Liability Lawyer
If you have been injured by a dangerous product, you should call an experienced products liability attorney to help you. John Clarke helps injured parties achieve justice while getting them the resources they need to move forward.
John Clarke is an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney who handles defective product cases. John Clarke is also a products liability lawyer in Miami and Palm Beach. Call today for a free consultation at (954) 556-8952!