Fort Lauderdale Product Liability Lawyer
Consumerism is a major part of the American economy. Any given citizen uses and interacts with hundreds of products in day-to-day life. There are strict federal and state safety standards when it comes to creating and distributing consumer products. Still, manufacturers can make mistakes, resulting in a dangerous product. When these products cause consumer injuries or deaths, victims may pursue product liability claims in Fort Lauderdale.
Product liability lawsuits follow specific rules compared to other personal injury claims. There are different burdens of proof and elements the law requires to bring a claim against a manufacturer or distributor for a dangerous item. The best way to protect your rights is with help from a local Fort Lauderdale product liability attorney.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Defective Product Attorney Today
At the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik, we can determine the defendant(s), file the correct paperwork, and get the ball rolling on a lawsuit on your behalf. Don’t wait to bring a negligent product manufacturer to justice. The sooner you speak with us about your situation, the sooner you can get the financial help you need to recover from these injuries and damages. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Understanding Product Liability – A Quick Overview of Claims
Companies and corporations are legally and ethically required to create, manufacture and sell products that will not cause harm to consumers. Failure to do so can result in liability in an injury case or lawsuit.
Manufacturers may be strictly liable for their defective products that cause injuries, meaning a manufacturer doesn’t have to be negligent to be liable for injuries caused by the product. A product liability claim must prove the product in question had a direct connection with the injury. The claim also must prove the victim suffered serious injuries as a result of the product.
Examples of Defective Products and Injuries
A product defect can occur at any point from the inception of the product to its delivery to the consumer. Some of the most common types of product defects and cause for legal action include:
- Poor design – This type of defect occurs before the product even comes to fruition and signals an inherent problem with the product. An example might be a stepladder that isn’t designed to support an average adult’s weight (resulting in broken bones or spinal cord injury) or a teakettle that releases scalding vapor from a spout located directly under the handle (resulting in serious burns and permanent scarring).
- Manufacturing error – A manufacturing defect occurs when there is an error in the manufacture or assembly of the product. An example could include using old materials when making tires (resulting in defective tires prone to slow leaks and blowouts) or installing the wrong fixtures on a riding lawn mower (resulting in a structurally unsound vehicle prone to overturning).
- Marketing error – A serious accident or injury can occur as the result of the way a product is marketed or labeled. This includes errors in labeling, insufficient warning labels and lack of safety instructions. An example may include an over-the-counter pain reliever that doesn’t include mention of harmful drug interactions (resulting in illness or liver or heart failure) or a power tool that doesn’t include sufficient safety instructions (resulting in an amputation or fatal injury).
- Mistake in distribution or sales – Product defects also can occur during shipping, receiving or sales. For instance, the materials used to make a tire can degrade over time. Therefore, a tire store that keeps old, unsafe stock on the sales floor (even past the date of sale recommended by the manufacturer) may be liable for a related car accident caused by the faulty tires.
Product defects can occur in everything from household cleaning products and children’s’ toys to heavy-duty construction equipment and automobiles.
Fort Lauderdale Product Liability Laws
In Fort Lauderdale, injured parties must obey certain rules and restrictions while filing a product liability claim. There are deadlines for filling, as well as elements necessary to prove manufacturer/distributor liability. When handling a defective product case, seek professional assistance from a local Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney. A dangerous product attorney can make the complex legal processes much simpler for you and your family. With a product liability lawyer, you don’t have to worry about obeying laws such as:
- Statutes of limitations. Fort Lauderdale citizens have four years from the date of the injury to file a product liability claim. The discovery rule applies – the countdown toward the deadline does not begin until the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered the injury. There is a statute of repose that also comes into effect – you cannot file a suit if the injury occurred more than 12 years after the delivery of the first product to the purchaser.
- Damage limits. The state of Florida abides by the pure comparative fault doctrine. This means that the consumer may still recover even if he/she was partially responsible for the injury. For example, if a manufacturer failed to warn of known risks but the consumer used the product in a way that differed from the manufacturer’s intent. There is an economic loss rule in Florida that bars plaintiffs from product liability lawsuits for economic losses only. These cases should instead be contract suits.
- Bases for filing. An injured party may not have a claim unless he/she can prove the product in question has a defect and that this defect caused the injury. There is no need to prove negligence in product liability claims to recover for injuries. There are three main types of defects: errors during manufacture, defects in design, and marketing mistakes. An item must have one or more of these defects to qualify as the basis for a product liability lawsuit.
Types of Dangerous Products:
- Children’s products (toys, car seats, safety devices);
- toxic chemicals (pesticides, asbestos, chemical solvents);
- medical devices (implants, dialysis filters);
- car, motorcycle, truck and bike parts;
- building materials (shoddy materials, materials that don’t meet regulations);
- elevators and escalators;
- safety equipment;
- tools and machines;
- appliances; and
- safety equipment.
Filing a Defective Product Claim
Florida laws typically provide four years in which to file a product liability claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you collect the evidence necessary to prove negligence and liability and file the claim on your behalf. Learn about your options by contacting the South Florida-based team at Chalik & Chalik. Call 1-(855) 529-0269.