St. Petersburg Products Liability Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger
You expect manufacturers and retailers to ensure the safety of the products they make and sell. However, dangerous and defective products frequently end up in the hands of unsuspecting consumers who get injured by these products. Manufacturers and retailers will fight hard to avoid liability for injuries caused by their defective products. A St. Petersburg product liability lawyer can help you secure a financial recovery for your injuries and expenses.
After suffering injuries from a dangerous or defective product, get legal help so you can stand up to big corporations and demand accountability for your harm and loss. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger for a free initial case evaluation. You can speak with a St. Petersburg product liability attorney from our law firm about your legal options.
What Does Products Liability Mean?
Product liability is the legal fault a manufacturer or vendor has when one of its products harms someone because of a fault in the product. The phrase also refers to a type of personal injury claim that involves injuries caused by dangerous or defective products. In a product liability claim, an injured person can pursue financial compensation from a manufacturer, retailer, or other liable parties.
In Florida, an injured party can pursue a strict liability claim against a manufacturer. Strict liability means an injured person does not need to prove that a product had a defect due to a manufacturer’s negligence or recklessness. Instead, strict liability holds manufacturers responsible for injuries caused by their defective products regardless of the manufacturer’s fault. However, injured people can also assert negligence claims in product liability cases, including, for example, by alleging that a manufacturer failed to test their product adequately.
What Are Common Examples of Defective Products?
Although all kinds of manufactured goods can suffer from dangerous defects, specific categories of products more frequently experience design or manufacturing defects that injure users. Common examples of defective products include:
- Automobiles and auto parts, including airbags, tires, brakes, and transmissions
- Medical devices, such as hernia meshes, stents, breast implants, artificial joints, or CPAP/BiPAP machines
- Cosmetics and personal care products, including talcum powder, hair relaxers, and makeup
- Baby products, including strollers, cribs, rockers, or car seats
- Food and beverages, such as energy drinks, protein shakes, baby food, or infant formula
- Home appliances
- Tools and equipment, including power drills, saws, or lawnmowers
What Are the Different Kinds of Defective Products Liability Claims?
These four kinds of defective product liability claims include:
- Design Defect – A design defect means a product’s specifications have rendered it unsafe. Design defects will make all examples of a product sharing the exact defective specifications dangerous to users.
- Manufacturing Defect – A manufacturing defect occurs during the manufacturing or assembly process due to the use of substandard materials or components or the failure to adhere to the manufacturing specifications. A manufacturing defect may exist in only one example of a product, or defects may affect entire production runs.
- Failure-to-Warn – A failure to warn/instruct, also called an informational or marketing defect, occurs when a product’s instructions fail to inform users how to use the product safely.
- Breach of Warranty – An injured person may also file a product liability claim when they’re hurt because a product fails to conform with the express warranties offered by a manufacturer or retailer.
Who Is Liable if I Am Injured or Damaged by a Defective Product?
Under product liability law, any party involved in the “chain of commerce” that brings a product to market for sale to an intended consumer or end-user may bear liability for injuries and property damage caused by a defective product. Examples of parties involved in the chain of commerce include:
- Parts or materials suppliers
- Manufacturers or assemblers of the final product
What If a Family Member Dies as a Result of a Defective Product?
When your family member died due to a dangerous or defective product, your family may have the right to pursue compensation from a liable manufacturer by filing a wrongful death claim. In a wrongful death product liability case, your family can recover compensation for financial and personal losses you’ve suffered due to your loved one’s death, including for:
- Loss of the decedent’s support and services or loss of future support at present value
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering from the loss of a spouse, parent, or child
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, or guidance
- Medical and funeral/burial expenses
- Loss of the decedent’s earnings before their death and loss of future accumulations to the decedent’s estate
Finally, Florida’s statute of limitations on wrongful death claims requires you to file a wrongful death product liability lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death.
What Compensation Can I Recover for Defective Product Injuries?
If you’ve suffered injuries because of a defective product, you might be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Repair or replacement of other property damaged by the defective product
- Costs of medical treatment and rehab
- Costs of long-term care or support for permanent disabilities caused by your injuries
- Ongoing and future losses of income and employment benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
How Long Do I Have to File a Defective Products Liability Claim in Florida?
Florida’s statute of limitations for product liability claims gives you limited time to file a lawsuit against a liable manufacturer or retailer. You usually have only four years after suffering or discovering an injury caused by a dangerous or defective product to file your lawsuit. However, under Florida’s statute of repose for product liability claims, you may not file a lawsuit after a certain time after the sale of the product that injured you, regardless of when you suffered or discovered your injury.
For products with an expected useful life of 10 years or less, an injured person cannot file a product liability lawsuit more than 12 years after the product’s sale to its first user/consumer. However, if a manufacturer warrants that a product has a useful life longer than ten years, an injured person may not file a lawsuit after the expiration of the product’s warranted useful life or 12 years after the product’s sale, whichever occurs first. There are different deadlines for commercial vehicles, aircraft, and heavy equipment.
Due to the various deadlines that apply to product liability claims, you should talk to a St. Petersburg product liability attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible to determine when to file your defective product lawsuit.
What You Should Do if a Defective Product Hurts You
After a dangerous or defective product has harmed you, you can take steps to preserve your legal options. Acting quickly after a defective product accident can put you in a favorable position to pursue compensation from a liable manufacturer or retailer. Things you should do after a dangerous or defective product injures you include:
- Seek immediate medical attention to diagnose the injuries or illnesses caused by the product.
- Follow your recommended treatment plan and recovery instructions.
- Keep the defective product if it’s safe to do so, or photograph the product and the scene of your injury.
- Request copies of your medical records for the treatment of your injuries.
- Keep all bills, invoices, and receipts of your expenses.
- Contact a product liability lawyer in St. Petersburg from Paul Knopf Bigger to get help pursuing your product defect claims.
Benefits of Hiring a St. Petersburg Products Liability Law Firm
If you’ve sustained severe injuries from a dangerous or defective product, focusing on your physical recovery will help you return to everyday life more quickly. However, you also need financial compensation from a liable manufacturer or retailer to help cover your medical bills, property repair, and lost income.
Hiring a St. Petersburg product liability lawyer can make recovering from defective product injuries much more manageable. Some of the benefits of hiring an experienced defective product lawyer for your case include:
- A product liability attorney will have experience investigating accident claims and know what evidence you will need to prove that your injuries occurred due to a defect in the product.
- Your lawyer can work with accident reconstruction and engineering experts to provide compelling opinion testimony explaining the nature of the defect in the product that hurt you.
- An attorney will document your ongoing and future losses, including obtaining medical, vocational, and financial expert testimony, to ensure you obtain compensation for your current losses and the expenses you will incur after your case concludes.
- Your product liability lawyer will handle communications and settlement negotiations with company representatives, insurance adjusters, and defense lawyers, taking the anxiety and stress of your case off your shoulders so you can focus your time and energy on your treatment and rehabilitation.
Contact a Products Liability Attorney in St. Petersburg Today
When you’ve gotten hurt because of a product defect, you may have the right to pursue financial recovery from liable manufacturers or retailers.
Learn how an experienced product liability lawyer in St. Petersburg can assist you with the claims process. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us fight to recover the compensation and justice you deserve for your injuries.