Winter Park Products Liability Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger
You have a right to expect that the products you purchase are safe. Nevertheless, companies often sell defective or inherently dangerous products. But the law allows consumers to hold manufacturers or other parties responsible for the harm that defective or dangerous products cause. If a dangerous or defective product has injured you, you may have the right to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The seasoned attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you obtain justice for the harm you suffered and hold manufacturers accountable for endangering the public. Contact our office today for a free consultation with a Winter Park, FL, product liability lawyer.
What Does Products Liability Mean?
Product liability is an area of the law that allows consumers to seek compensation for the harm they suffer due to defective or dangerous products. A person hurt by a defective product can file a product liability claim against a manufacturer or other parties responsible for bringing the product to market.
Product liability claims typically are brought on one or more of the following theories: strict liability, breach of contract, and negligence.
Under strict liability, a plaintiff does not need to prove that the product’s defect occurred due to the defendant’s negligence or recklessness. Instead, strict liability holds manufacturers responsible whenever their defective products hurt people. However, an injured party could pursue a product liability claim based on negligence by a manufacturer. For example, an injured person may allege that a manufacturer failed to conduct reasonable safety testing before selling a defective or dangerous product.
What Are Common Examples of Defective Products?
Any product can be defective or inherently dangerous. However, some products are more likely than others to be defective. Common examples of defective products include:
- Vehicles and auto parts, including brakes, tires, transmissions, and airbags
- Medical devices such as artificial joints, breast implants, meshes, or CPAP/BiPAP ventilators
- Baby products such as strollers, car seats, cribs, baby food, and infant formula
- Cosmetics and personal care products, including talcum powder and hair relaxers
- Household products such as cleaning agents, insect control, herbicides, and weed killers
- Household appliances
- Tools and equipment such as saws or lawnmowers
What Are the Different Kinds of Defective Products Liability Claims?
A person injured by a defective or dangerous product may pursue a claim alleging one of the following defects:
- Design Defect – A design defect occurs when a product’s specifications render it inherently dangerous for its intended or foreseeable uses due to a substantial risk that the product will harm someone. A design defect affects all examples of a product sharing the exact specification.
- Manufacturing Defect – A manufacturing defect arises when an error occurs during the manufacturing or assembly process that causes a product to deviate from the intended specifications. Manufacturing defects may affect one example of a product or larger production runs.
- Failure to Warn – A failure to warn, also called an informational or marketing defect, occurs when a product’s instructions fail to adequately advise users on how to use the product safely. A failure to warn claim may also allege that a product had inadequate warnings about the risks or dangers of using the product, and the injured user would not have purchased the product or would have altered their use of the product if they had sufficient warnings.
Who Is Liable If I Am Injured or Damaged by a Defective Product?
Depending on the facts of your case, any party in the chain of commerce for the defective product could be liable for your injuries. The “chain of commerce” includes parties responsible for bringing a product to market for purchase by an end-user, such as:
- Materials and components suppliers
- Manufacturers who produce or assemble the final product
- Distributors and wholesalers
What If a Family Member Dies as a Result of a Defective Product?
If a loved one dies because of a product defect or dangerous product, your family may have the right to pursue compensation from a liable manufacturer or another party in a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death case can provide your family with financial relief for losses such as:
- Loss of a decedent’s support and services between their injury and death
- Loss of future support and services at present value
- Loss of a deceased spouse’s companionship and protection
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Mental pain and suffering caused by the death of a spouse, parent, or child
- Medical, funeral, and burial expenses paid by family members
Remember that the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims requires a plaintiff to file a lawsuit against a liable manufacturer or retailer within two years of their loved one’s death. If you file after the two-year deadline, you could lose your right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Thus, speaking to an attorney immediately is crucial to protecting your legal options.
What Compensation Can I Recover for Defective Product Injuries?
A product liability claim can compensate for financial and personal losses you experience due to a defective product. Compensation in your product liability case may include money for your:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation for injuries from a defective product
- Costs of care and support services for long-term or permanent disabilities
- Lost wages if you cannot work while healing from your injuries
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment and quality of life due to physical disabilities, extensive scarring, disfigurement, or reduced life expectancy from illnesses or medical conditions
- Repair or replacement costs for personal property damaged by a defective product
How Long Do I Have to File a Defective Products Liability Claim in Florida?
Under Florida’s statute of limitations on product liability claims, you usually have four years from when you suffer an injury due to a defective product or when you discover the injury to file a lawsuit. The court will likely dismiss a lawsuit filed after the statutory deadline.
In addition to the statute of limitations, Florida’s statute of repose for product liability claims imposes a final deadline on filing product liability lawsuits regardless of when the plaintiff suffers or discovers an injury from a defective product. A plaintiff cannot file a lawsuit more than 12 years after the sale of a defective product with an expected useful life of 10 years or less. Manufacturers can also warrant that their products have a useful life of more than 10 years, in which case, the statute of repose bars any lawsuit filed after the expiration of the product’s useful life or 12 years, whichever occurs first.
What You Should Do if a Defective Product Hurts You
If you suffered harm in an accident with a defective or dangerous product, you can take steps to protect your legal options for pursuing compensation. You should do the following if a defective product hurts you:
- Seek immediate medical attention to diagnose the injuries or conditions that the product caused.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions and recommendations.
- Keep the product that injured you, if safe to do so. Otherwise, photograph the product and the accident scene, including any property damage caused by the product.
- Keep all bills, invoices, and receipts for expenses you incur.
- Gather your pay stubs or income statements.
Finally, contact a Winter Park product liability and defective product lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options and prepare and pursue your case against a liable manufacturer or retailer.
Benefits of Hiring a Winter Park, FL, Products Liability Law Firm
Pursuing compensation in a product liability case can be complex and time-consuming. Hiring a Winter Park, FL, product liability law firm like Paul Knopf Bigger can relieve stress and give you peace of mind. You will benefit from our guidance and legal advice because our attorneys will:
- Investigate the circumstances that led to your injury and gather evidence to build a compelling case proving the product was defective
- Document your injuries and other losses to estimate the compensation you deserve, accounting for past, current, and future expenses related to the harm you suffered
- Communicate with company representatives, insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, and other parties so that you can focus on healing from your injuries
- Negotiate for a fair settlement that covers your financial and personal losses
- Go to court and represent you at trial if necessary to pursue maximum compensation
Contact a Products Liability Attorney in Winter Park, FL, Today
If a dangerous or defective product hurts you or a loved one, you deserve to seek compensation and accountability for your injuries and losses. The seasoned attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you pursue justice and hold negligent manufacturers and retailers accountable. Going up against large companies can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Let a product liability lawyer in Winter Park, FL, handle the details of your case so that you can focus on healing and moving forward. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free initial consultation.