Each day, you use a variety of products. From the coffee maker you rely on for your morning boost to your hair dryer and kid’s favorite toy, consumer products are a huge part of almost everyone’s lives.
You probably do not expect these products you use daily to harm you or someone in your family. Unfortunately, this is something that occurs almost daily. Many products are defective, which can cause injuries that range from minor to severe. In rare situations, a product malfunction or defect can cause a fatality.
If this happens, the outcome can be devastating.
Being injured by a product may entitle you to receive compensation. While this is true, product liability cases are complex. Hiring an experienced product liability attorney can help you determine liability, prove negligence, and collect compensation.
Liability in Defective Product Cases
After suffering an injury from a defective product, a pressing question for many is – who is responsible? In the state of Florida, there are three categories used to determine liability in these cases. These include the following:
If the design of a product is defective and it causes harm, it means the product was never safe. Even when manufactured properly, based on the given specifications, the product was dangerous and did not perform safely or prevent harm to the end user. This makes the product dangerous to consumers.
Examples of products with dangerous designs include:
- Small toys that present choking hazards
- Kitchen appliances that electrocute the user
- Steering wheels that lock while engaged
If an injury occurs because of a defective design, the product designer is usually held liable.
Failure to Warn
In situations where a product is designed and manufactured properly and to specifications, another issue may arise that leads to injuries. This is when improper or inadequate warnings are provided about a product’s potential dangers. In some cases, there are no warnings provided.
Sometimes called marketing defects, products in this category do not have the needed information to warn users of possible hazards. Examples of failure to warn situations include:
- Plastic bags without a suffocation warning
- Furniture that may fall if not secured to the wall
- Chemicals without proper and safe handling instructions
Manufacturing defects occur if a product is designed properly but manufactured improperly. In this situation, the product may be dangerous to use.
Examples of manufacturing defects include:
- Contaminated medication
- Safety locks on car seats that malfunction
- Furniture assembled incorrectly
What to Do if A Defective Product Injures You?
Contact a product liability attorney if you sustain an injury from a product and believe a defect caused your injury. The attorney you hire can review the situation to determine if you have a viable case.
According to Florida law, you must file a product liability claim within four years of when the injury occurred and two years if the defective product caused someone’s death. While exceptions to these limits exist, it is best to work with an attorney to ensure you do not miss important deadlines and lose your right to recover compensation.
Hiring an attorney means you have a knowledgeable legal advocate to help you determine and recover the full value of your injuries and losses.