Tampa Products Liability Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger
People rightfully expect manufacturers and retailers to sell safe products. However, defective or dangerous products make it to market too often, harming unsuspecting consumers. If a defective product has hurt you, you may have the right to seek compensation and justice for your injuries and other losses.
The attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you pursue the financial relief you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our office today for a free consultation with a Tampa product liability attorney and learn more about your legal options.
What Does Products Liability Mean?
Product liability is an area of personal injury law involving injuries caused by dangerous or defective products. These claims differ from other personal injury cases because product liability law allows injured individuals to pursue claims under a legal theory of strict liability.
A person injured by a dangerous or defective product typically does not need to prove any negligence or recklessness by the manufacturer. Instead, the law imposes liability on a manufacturer when it puts a product on the market that injures someone due to a defect in the product or its inherent dangerousness. But product liability claimants can also allege negligence by a manufacturer, such as if the manufacturer failed to conduct reasonable safety testing for a product.
What Are Common Examples of Defective Products?
Although any product can be defective, various categories of products more frequently give rise to product liability claims. Common examples of dangerous and defective products include:
- Children’s toys
- Baby products, including strollers, cribs, infant car seats, and rockers
- Medical devices, including breast implants, pelvic meshes, artificial joints, and CPAP/BiPAP machines
- Auto parts, including airbags, fuel pumps, transmissions, or tires
- Beauty and cosmetic products
- Personal care products, such as talcum/baby powder
- Food, including baby food, infant formula, and energy drinks
- Cleaning and lawn care products
- Household appliances
What Are the Different Kinds of Defective Products Liability Claims?
A person injured by a dangerous or defective product may file product liability claims under one or more theories of liability. They can be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty. The three types of defects that typically give rise to liability include:
- Design Defect – A design defect claim alleges that a product’s specifications render it inherently dangerous or unfit for its intended uses. Design defects will affect all examples of a product sharing a defective design.
- Manufacturing Defect – A manufacturing defect claim alleges that mistakes during the manufacturing or assembly process caused a defect in a product. These mistakes might include failure to adhere to the product specifications, contamination during manufacturing, or using substandard materials. A manufacturing defect may affect only one example of a product, or a defect can affect entire production runs.
- Failure to Warn – Also called an informational or marketing defect, a failure to warn claim alleges that a product’s manufacturer or retailer failed to provide the customer with instructions necessary for the safe use of a product. Alternatively, a failure to warn claim might allege that a product came with inadequate warnings about the risk of use, and the product’s user would only have purchased or used the product if they received adequate warnings.
Who is Liable If I Am Injured or Damaged by a Defective Product?
Under product liability law, any party in the chain of commerce that brings a product to market and sells it to consumers or users may be liable for injuries from a defective product. Depending on the circumstances that lead to the marketing and sale of a dangerous or defective product, parties that may bear liability for injuries and losses in a product liability case include:
- The product’s manufacturer or assembler
- Manufacturers of components used in the final assembly of the product
- Wholesalers and distributors
What If a Family Member Dies as a Result of a Defective Product?
Some dangerous or defective products inflict fatal injuries. If you’ve lost a loved one due to a defective product, your family may have the right to pursue compensation in a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim can provide financial recovery for losses such as:
- The value of the decedent’s lost support and services
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection
- Lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Mental pain and suffering
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of the decedent’s earnings from the date of their injury to their date of death
- Loss of future accumulation to the decedent’s estate, reduced to present value
Remember that the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims in Florida gives you only two years to file a lawsuit against a liable manufacturer or retailer. Talk to a product liability attorney in Tampa as soon as possible after losing a loved one to a dangerous or defective product to ensure your family files its claims on time.
What Compensation Can I Recover for Defective Product Injuries?
If a defective product has injured you, you can pursue compensation for financial losses and personal suffering due to your injuries. Financial relief in a dangerous product claim can provide you money for:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation costs
- Costs of long-term care or support for permanent disabilities
- Lost wages or income
- Loss of future earning capacity and job benefits if you develop permanent disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life caused by disabilities, disfigurement or scarring, or reduced life expectancy
How Long Do I Have to File a Defective Products Liability Claim in Florida?
Under Florida’s statute of limitations for product liability claims, you usually have four years after suffering an injury or discovering an injury caused by a defective product to file a product liability lawsuit. But the law imposes a final deadline, known as a statute of repose, for filing a product liability suit. For product liability claims arising from a product with an expected useful life of 10 years or less, an injured person must file a lawsuit no later than 12 years after the product’s sale to its first consumer/user. When a manufacturer warrants that a product has an expected useful life longer than 10 years, a person injured by that product must file suit within 12 years after the product’s sale or the product’s warranted useful life.
If you file a lawsuit after the statutory deadline, the court likely will dismiss your case, regardless of its merits. If so, you could lose your right to recover compensation in civil court. While the deadline is not binding on insurance claims, the ability to sue can give you leverage during settlement negotiations with insurers. Talk to a Tampa product liability attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible to get started on your defective product claim and ensure that it is filed on time.
What You Should Do if a Defective Product Hurts You
If you’ve been hurt due to a dangerous or defective product, you can take steps to protect your right to pursue financial relief in a product liability claim. You should do the following:
- Seek prompt medical attention to diagnose the injuries caused by the dangerous or defective product.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and recovery instructions.
- Preserve the product if safe to do so. Otherwise, photograph the product and keep any packaging, instruction manuals, warranty documents, and purchase receipts.
- Obtain copies of medical records from your injury treatment and rehabilitation.
- Gather all bills, invoices, and receipts of expenses you incur because of your injuries. Find your pay stubs or income statements if you miss time from work or take a lower-paying position.
- Contact a Tampa product liability lawyer to learn more about your legal options for recovering compensation from a liable manufacturer or retailer.
Benefits of Hiring a Tampa Products Liability Law Firm
If you’ve sustained severe injuries from a dangerous or defective product, you need time to heal from your injuries and move forward with your life. You also need compensation for medical treatment and compensate for lost income. Hiring a Tampa product liability law firm can relieve much of your anxiety and stress. The benefits of choosing Paul Knopf Bigger for your product defect claim include the following:
- Our experienced attorneys can thoroughly investigate your claim to recover evidence proving that a product defect or its inherent dangerousness led to your injury.
- We will fully document your injuries and losses to pursue maximum financial relief for your ongoing and future anticipated losses or needs.
- Our lawyers can file claims and communicate with corporate representatives, insurance adjusters, and defense attorneys on your behalf, freeing you to focus your time and energy on your physical and emotional recovery.