The term “product liability” refers to a type of legal claim that someone has when they are injured or damaged because of a product. The product manufacturer, designer, seller, distributor, or other party is often to blame for your injuries, so they are “liable” for the damage or harm that they caused. Often, product liability arises because a product does not work properly or how it was intended to work, but not always.
Types of Product Liability Cases
In Florida, there are several types of product liability cases. Each type of case requires that the person who was injured prove certain facts. You can do this with the help of a product liability attorney.
In some situations, a product works as intended, but it is inherently dangerous by design. A design defect claim argues that the product was unsafe by design. In many situations, it is obvious after your injury that the product could have been altered to avoid your damage, but proving that there was a safer way to design the product is generally not required.
The designer, assuming that party is different from the manufacturer, is the party that should ultimately end up paying for your damages.
A manufacturing defect is a problem that occurs in the manufacture of a product. It often means that very few (or sometimes only one or two) products have the error that caused your injury. In a manufacturing defect case, the product that you receive did not conform to the design or “match” the rest of the products that were made at the same time.
In these cases, the manufacturer of the product is likely the party to take most of the blame for your injuries or damage.
Marketing Defects or Failure to Warn
In some situations, a product requires that certain warnings be put in place so that you can avoid the risk of injury or damage.
For example, virtually every hairdryer has a warning that you should not use this product in the bathtub. If the manufacturer or designer does not include warnings for foreseeable misuses of a product, then that can create unreasonable risk and ultimately cause injuries and damage.
Legal Claims Under Product Liability
In virtually every legal case, the person who was harmed or damage must prove that someone else caused their damage or injury, and that person or entity should be legally responsible. Product liability cases require a similar showing. Florida uses both “strict liability” and “negligence” in its product liability cases.
What is Strict Liability?
The term “strict liability” means that the fact that the product’s manufacturer took reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the product really does not matter for your legal case. The fact that the product caused your injury is enough to impose legal responsibility for your damages. However, Florida law often requires that the danger goes above and beyond the normal risks of using the product to impose strict liability.
Strict liability is generally easier to prove compared to negligence, but not always.
Negligence in Product Liability Cases
The concept of “negligence” applies to most personal injury cases, from car accidents to slip and fall cases and product liability claims. It requires that someone else have a duty to you, and there was a breach of that duty and resulting damage or injury.
In the product liability context, manufacturers, product designers, and other parties have various duties to you, including:
- Designing safe products
- Producing products that comply with the safe design
- Warning you about potential dangers regarding the product
- Inspecting the product at various stages of manufacturing to ensure safety
- Delivering and providing a safe product to you
- Testing products to ensure that they meet safety standards
The concept of negligence for product liability requires that you show that the manufacturer, designer, or another related party did something wrong, and that error or omission caused your damages or injuries.
Getting Help from a Florida Product Liability Attorney
Product liability cases are very complicated. In many situations, you may know that a product harmed you, but you are not sure why or how it happened. Our team can help you do the investigation to put these pieces together.
Developing products is often complex, and determining why a product malfunctioned will usually require getting an expert in that particular field to help. We have the resources you need to assert your claim, and we can help you get the damages that you deserve.
There are time limitations to products liability claims, so do not delay in making the first contact with our office. Call today for more information or to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.