Were you recently injured in a product libility accident in Fort Pierce, FL? Our experienced Fort Pierce product liability lawyers at Shiner Law Group are ready to help fight for your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (772) 979-6626 to speak with an attorney for a 100% free consultation.
You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and more. Contact our Fort Pierce, FL law offices to discuss the legal options that might be available to you following your product accident. The next steps are very important. Let Shiner Law Group help you with your product accident case today.
Were You Injured In A Product Liability Accident In Fort Pierce?
Millions of people are injured or killed by defective products every year in the United States. Floridians rely on various consumer products to help them in their daily lives, but sometimes, these products can be faulty. Product defects can occur due to design or manufacturing errors and affect everything from electronics and household appliances to children’s toys.
Fortunately, there is recourse for the injuries and harmful impacts brought about by these products. Fort Pierce product liability lawyers can fight for people who have been injured because of consumer products. They can receive compensation for economic and non-economic losses that have resulted from the injuries caused.
Get in touch with the Shiner Law Group for Fort Pierce product liability lawyers with both knowledge and experience in the subject. After thoroughly reviewing your case, we will ensure you have all legal options presented to you, and you can choose between them and follow the best course of action for your needs. Whether it’s a children’s toy that has harmed your child or a faulty kitchen appliance that has injured you and caused you to miss work, we offer expert legal advice and services so you can rely on attorneys who treat your case with the commitment and care you deserve.
What is Fort Pierce Product Liability?
Product liability is a legal term that refers to the responsibility passed on to manufacturers, wholesalers, or retail stores for consumer products that have damaged or otherwise caused harm to people. These cases are known as product liability cases or “defective product cases.”
Under Florida law, you are entitled to compensation if a product is deemed defective by a court of law and has caused proven harm to you because of design, manufacturing, or marketing defects.
Product Liability Statistics
- According to the National Safety Council (NSC), almost 11 million people had to visit the emergency department for injuries that resulted from consumer products in 2020.
- Consumer products injuries affected 13,464,372 Americans in 2019.
- The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) claims that unsafe consumer products cost the U.S. economy $1 trillion annually.
What Is the Basis for Liability in Fort Pierce Product Liability Law?
When courts discuss product liability cases, the basis for liability comes down to product liability and negligence. While the former focuses on the physical product itself, the latter focuses on the individuals or companies involved in negligence, i.e., the components manufacturers, product manufacturers, sellers, distributors, etc. Therefore, liability must prove defects when it comes to manufacturing, design, or marketing.
When alleging manufacturing defects, you are claiming that the manufacturing process was flawed and that despite the product being designed to be safe, the manufacturer did not follow this design. Because of this, using the product for its intended effect may cause harm. For example, a chair with a missing screw may collapse when people try to sit on it. While it was designed properly, there was a manufacturing error that resulted in fewer screws being used.
When you’re claiming design defects, you’re alleging that the manufacturer’s design is unnecessarily and unreasonably dangerous. To prove this, a product must undergo a consumer-expectation test to ensure it doesn’t perform as safely as expected. For example, a gun safety mechanism that doesn’t work properly and still allows the gun to be discharged has a design defect.
When alleging marketing defects, the argument being made is that there are foreseeable risks of harm and that not enough was done to mitigate or reduce these risks through adequate advertising and marketing. For example, you may allege that the manufacturer or distributor failed to provide warnings or instructions that could have prevented the harm caused. Therefore, although the product has been manufactured and designed properly, the marketing failed and resulted in harm.
For example, you’ll often find that when children’s toys have small parts, they’re labeled as “choking hazards.” This is to warn parents that these small parts can pose a risk to small children that may mishandle them. If you find small parts that are not labeled adequately with this warning, this could be the basis for filing a product liability lawsuit in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Defendants in Product Liability Lawsuits in Fort Pierce
In some states, you can only seek damages from certain parties instead of the entire supply chain. This isn’t true for Florida, where you can involve the entire distribution chain in your product liability lawsuit. Therefore, it’s not just the manufacturer you can sue – you can also name the retailers, wholesalers, and component manufacturers as defendants if you so choose.
Plaintiffs can name several different manufacturers in their product liability lawsuits. This can include component manufacturers, those who put products together, and more. Depending on the product itself, there may be multiple parties to blame for a defective product and the liability regarding it. For example, if you bought a defective car, you can hold the assembler responsible; but you can also name different parts producers as defendants in your lawsuit.
You may also name wholesalers in Fort Pierce product liability lawsuits. This is because they also hold some responsibility for the products they are selling, especially if they’re unsafe to use and pose a danger to the public at large.
Another party you can name in your lawsuit is retailers. This is because in stocking the item, retailers are implying that a product is safe to use for the purpose it is intended for. Implicit warranty factors into this even though the retailer isn’t responsible for manufacturing the product itself.
Types of Fort Pierce Product Liability Injuries
Many types of injuries can result from using defective products. In addition to physical injuries like burns and lacerations, you may also report injuries such as pain and suffering or loss in quality of life. Injuries can also result in additional financial damages, such as loss of income due to time needed for recovery, your spouse or partner’s loss of income because they had to care for you, or even financial burden caused by medical expenses.
Some of the most common injuries sustained because of defective products include the following:
- Medication side effects
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
How Fort Pierce Product Liability Lawyers Can Help
There are a number of steps you have to take to secure compensation for injuries from defective products. Whether it’s your car brakes that didn’t work when they were supposed to or a defective children’s toy that put your child in danger, a Fort Pierce product liability attorney can help you build a strong case. They facilitate the process by:
- Listening to your side of the story and what transpired
- Building a case by consulting with medical professionals to understand and document the extent of your injuries
- Speaking to other victims to bring a class action lawsuit
- Speaking to witnesses to gather evidence against manufacturers
- Discussing defects in products with experts in the field
- Documenting all your losses, including medical costs, pain and suffering, inability to work during recovery, loss of a partner’s wages, and more
Frequently Asked Questions for Fort Pierce Product Liability Attorneys
If you’ve been harmed by a consumer product and are looking for a Fort Pierce product liability lawyer, you may have a few questions in mind about filing, compensation, and more. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below can help you understand Fort Pierce and Florida product liability law.
Is There a Time Limit to When I Can File My Product Liability Lawsuit?
Yes, there is a time limit on when you can file a product liability lawsuit. Florida law states that citizens have four years to file product liability lawsuits. However, it’s important to note that the discovery rule is important when it comes to this. Because of the statute of repose, the cause of action has to lie within a specific period. For example, if an appliance only has a useful life of a maximum of 7 years, it’s not possible to file a product liability lawsuit if it causes damage or injury in your eighth or ninth year of using it, except in some unique cases.
Similarly, if you eat food past its expiry dates or ingest medication that expired a year ago, you don’t have cause to file a lawsuit. Therefore, timelines and use dates are an important part of determining whether your case can be filed.
It should be noted that the timeline differs when the charge changes from injury and damages to wrongful death. If you want to file for wrongful death, the statute of limitations for a product liability case is reduced to two years. However, there are also certain times when the time limit can be extended. This could be because of an injury that had a delayed onset or because of a long warranty offered by a manufacturer.
What Will I Have to Prove?
When it comes to product liability lawsuits in Fort Pierce, Florida, you, the plaintiff, must prove the following:
- Defective manufacturing, design, or marketing (failure to warn)
- Injury, loss, or damage
- Proximate cause, i.e., the injury or damage was caused by the defect
- Product was used as intended, i.e., there was no user error and that the product was used as per the manufacturer’s instructions or in a way the manufacturer could reasonably expect a person to use it
Can I Still File a Product Liability Lawsuit if I’m Partially at Fault?
Before looking for a Fort Pierce product liability attorney, it’s important to know about Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule. This rule states that if you’re partially at fault, you can still file a product liability lawsuit, but this will affect the recovery of damages. For example, if you are 60% at fault and are filing a product liability lawsuit worth $50,000, you can only recover $20,000 and not the original $50,000.
Additionally, if you’ve only suffered economic losses, this is better suited for a contract lawsuit than a product liability lawsuit. Therefore, other factors and damages must be taken into account.
What Kind of Damages Can I Be Awarded in Product Liability Cases?
When you file a product liability lawsuit in Fort Pierce, Florida, the primary incentive to do so is for the damages you can receive. In the state of Florida, these can be divided into two distinct categories: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Because the defective product has caused you injury, you are entitled to compensatory damages. This can be for the medical expenses you had to pay to treat your injuries, lost wages from missing work, or repair costs in case of property damage caused by the product. You can also get compensatory damages for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are damages awarded on top of compensatory damages. This isn’t common, but in cases where manufacturers or wholesalers are especially negligent or if products are especially effective, courts and juries can also award punitive damages. These are awarded as a punishment to the defendant to prevent them from committing the same acts of negligence in the future.
How a Fort Pierce Product Liability Lawyer Can Help
Often, manufacturers don’t properly test their products, fail to include adequate warnings and instructions, or simply cut corners during production to save money and maximize profits. However, this isn’t right, and they have a legal responsibility to ensure a product’s safety.
If you’ve suffered from injuries, stress, lost income, or are faced with medical bills, you’re entitled to have your interests represented by a Fort Pierce product liability attorney. The state of Florida entitles you to compensation for the damages and hardships you’ve faced as a result of defective products, speak with a Fort Pierce product liability attorney today for free to discuss your defective product accident details.
Fort Pierce Product Liability Lawyer Review
Fort Pierce Product Liability Injury Law Office
Shiner Law Group
531 S US Hwy 1, Building A STE D
Fort Pierce, FL 34950