Florida Product Liability Attorney
Injured by an Item You Purchased? Talk to a Florida Product Liability Attorney to See if You Have a Claim
If you or a family member have been injured using a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Florida product liability attorney is in the best position to discuss what happened to you and how you may receive damages in your specific case. The following will give you the background to help you understand how you could receive money to assist in your recovery, help take care of bills, expenses, and pay for other damages now and in the future.
Known and Hidden Dangers in Consumer Goods
We use products in all aspects of our daily lives. From toothbrushes to kitchen appliances, from children’s toys to cars and SUVs, and from tablets to power tools, virtually everything we do requires something that was designed, manufactured and sold by someone else.
Toy companies, car companies and appliance manufacturers (to name a few) make billions of dollars a year selling products to consumers. While many, if not most, products are relatively safe if used properly, companies recall millions of products every year, and far too many known dangers go unreported.
Determining Liability for Dangerous and Defective Products
There are three general theories of strict product liability that your Florida product liability attorney could base your case on:
- The product design was defective.
- The responsible party failed to warn potential users of a problem.
- The product was produced using defective manufacturing.
Products with design defects are just dangerous from the get-go. Even if they were manufactured perfectly, it does not matter. By their very design these products are not going to perform as safely as the consumer has a right to expect, making them unreasonably dangerous.
Some examples of products with design defects are:
- Toys that a child can choke on
- A car steering wheel that locks while you are driving
- A kitchen appliance that electrocutes the user
Failure to Warn
Failure to warn issues arise when, even though the item might have been designed and manufactured correctly, warnings about its dangers or use were either inadequate or nonexistent. Often referred to as having marketing defects, these products become dangerous as a result of a lack of needed information. Examples might include:
- Plastic bags that could cause suffocation
- Chemicals sold without any warnings on how to handle safely
- A piece of furniture that is a risk for falling if not properly affixed to a wall
Even if it was designed safely, a product could have a manufacturing defect that causes injury if there were errors or flaws in how it was manufactured and/or assembled. Some instances where a manufacturing defect could cause injury include:
- A chair with a leg that was not bolted on correctly
- A car seat safety lock that malfunctions
- A batch of medicine is contaminated
Why You Should File Your Case As Soon As Possible with a Florida Product Liability Law Firm
Asserting that a product caused you harm is one thing, but proving it is another. That is why it is important that you get in touch with a Florida product liability attorney as soon as possible after the injury occurs or you discover the harm the product caused.
Generally, Florida law requires that you file a your product liability or defective product claim within four years of the date of injury, two years if the victim died and you are suing for wrongful death. There are exceptions to these statute of limitations rules, so even if you delay, it is best to consult with your Florida product liability attorney directly because you might still be able to recover even if you are past these time frames.
Be prepared for the fact that large corporations will vigorously dispute consumers’ product liability claims, and they will often try to blame the victim for their own accidents and injuries. Particularly where there is the potential for multiple injured parties to bring claims – such as in pharmaceutical, tobacco and automotive defect litigation – they will pay millions of dollars to defense lawyers who will use all available legal means to protect their clients as much as possible.
Evidence Needed for Product Liability Claims
The only way to be certain that a product defect is to blame for a person’s injuries is to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. This includes recovering evidence from the scene of the accident (whether that means the roadway, a construction site or your home), hiring appropriate experts to assess the product’s safety, and determining whether any other factors may have played a role in the accident. With decades of experience in products liability and personal injury litigation, our Florida product liability lawyers can evaluate all potential sources of compensation for your injuries and help make sure you receive a maximum financial settlement or verdict.
At Searcy Denney, your Florida product liability attorney puts experience on your side. We have been representing Florida residents in products liability cases for more than 40 years. We understand the long-term consequences of product-related injuries, and we have a proven track record of securing favorable results for our clients in settlement negotiations and at trial. If you have a case, our law firm will provide skilled legal representation, and we will work aggressively to fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Florida Product Liability Case?
Each case is unique, and your financial recovery will be determined based upon the extent of your financial and non-financial losses. Your Florida product liability attorney will detail, based on your circumstances, the types of recovery you may be entitled to. As a general rule, injury victims and their loved ones can recover compensation to cover both out-of-pocket costs and other damages the experience, including:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium, companionship, society and enjoyment of life
In some instances, plaintiffs can recover punitive damages, which are amounts designed to punish the wrongdoer for knowingly creating or allowing for a situation that could cause harm. In Florida, punitive damages amounts are limited by statute. Your Florida product liability attorney will be able to explain whether you are eligible to recover punitive damages in your case.
For the best estimate of your potential compensation, schedule a free consultation with us today.
Types of Dangerous and Defective Product Cases a Searcy Denney Florida Product Liability Attorney Can Handle
We have experience representing clients in cases involving a wide variety of products and product-related injuries. If you, your child, or another close family member has been harmed in an accident involving any of the following, contact a Florida product liability attorney from our firm.
In our aviation accident practice, we routinely pursue claims based on theories of product liability. On an airplane, everything from tires to seatbelts to engines and wings is critically important. If any component is defective, securing just compensation for accident-related injuries requires a thorough investigation focused on identifying potential product defect claims.
Vehicle defects play a role in a significant number of auto accidents as well. We have successfully represented clients in numerous vehicle defect cases, including cases involving SUV rollovers, defective airbags, defective car seats and tire defects.
CHILDREN’S FURNITURE AND TOYS
Children’s furniture and toys must be designed and manufactured with age-specific safety considerations in mind. When a piece of furniture or a toy has the potential to tip over, crush toes or fingers, lose small parts, cause choking or entanglement, or otherwise put children’s health and safety at risk, it can be unreasonably dangerous, and parents can seek financial compensation for their children’s medical expenses and other losses.
CONSTRUCTION TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
Defective tools and equipment can create risks for the workers who use them and others in the vicinity. We handle cases involving defective ladders, scaffolding, hand tools and power tools, heavy machinery, construction vehicles, safety equipment and other products.
The safety of the products in our homes is something that most of us take for granted. Unfortunately, too often, the trust we put in these products is misplaced. If you or a family member has been injured by a cleaning product, kitchen tool or any of the household items you use on a daily basis, we can help you seek just compensation.
Lawnmowers, trimmers, digging tools, garden tools and other types of landscaping equipment can cause serious injuries when not designed or manufactured appropriately for their intended use. We represent Florida homeowners and landscaping service providers in a wide range of product defect claims.
Defective medical devices can present extreme, and often life-threatening, risks for patients who are not aware of the dangers they present. Our lawyers are available to represent clients in cases involving defective hip and knee implants, defibrillators (also known as “pacemakers”), birth control devices (including IUDs), blot clot filters and other medical devices.
Like defective medical devices, defective pharmaceuticals can present potentially-fatal risks for unsuspecting patients. We have handled cases involving drugs prescribed for hormone replacement, osteoporosis, birth control, and other medical purposes.
Common defects in playground equipment include trip and fall hazards, choking hazards, suffocation hazards, crushing hazards, and other dangers that present risks for sudden and severe traumatic injuries. Equipment designed for older children must also be labeled appropriately, and parents whose children were injured on dangerous playgrounds will often have defect claims referred to as “failure to warn.”
Defective appliances can cause fires, electrocutions and a variety of other types of devastating accidents. If someone in your household was injured by a defective appliance, our products liability lawyers can seek just compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
What to Do After Being Injured by a Defective Product
After being injured by a defective product, the most important thing is for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your health needs to be your top priority, and your medical records will also be crucial evidence in your claim for compensation. After a product-related accident, our Florida product liability attorney urges you to:
- Keep the product. Do not attempt to fix it or use it again, and do not throw it away.
- Take photos of your injuries, any physical damage caused by the product and anything else that you think might be potentially relevant to your product liability claim.
- Follow your doctor’s advice (or seek a second opinion if desired).
- Avoid complaining about the product or discussing the accident on social media.
- Contact a product liability law firm to discuss your legal rights as soon as possible.
Can a Florida Product Liability Lawyer Help Me if I Was Injured By a Product That was Not Defective?
While product defects give rise to strict liability claims against product manufacturers and sellers, a product does not necessarily have to be defective for a claim to arise. False advertising, warranty breaches, faulty maintenance, faulty repairs, and various other issues can give rise to product-related claims for liability as well.
As a result, regardless of what happened, you should discuss your legal rights with an attorney. At Searcy Denney, we handle all types of product-related injury claims. We can use our experience to assess your legal rights thoroughly; and, if you are entitled to compensation on any grounds, we can pursue a claim for just compensation on your behalf.
Our Product Liability Lawsuit Case Results
Below is a sampling of cases results from our defective products attorney team at Searcy Denney.
- $700,000 Settlement; Traffic Signal Timing Errors Contribute to Pedestrian Fatality
- Courts Award Local Company $4 Million Against Halliburton for Defective Equipment
- Defective Camping Heater Causes Two Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Deaths
- Defective Seat in SUV Causes Permanent Injuries
Contact a Florida Product Liability Attorney at Searcy Denney for a Free Consultation
If you have questions and would like to speak with an experienced Florida product liability lawyer, please contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. With offices in Tallahassee and West Palm Beach, we represent individuals and families in all of Florida. You can contact us 24/7, so call 800-780-8607 or request an appointment online now. No recovery, no fee.
I was injured by a product but the product has not been recalled. Can I still file a product liability claim?
Yes. While product manufacturers and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regularly issue recalls, not all dangerous products are recalled, and many are recalled only after an accident occurs. You can check to see if a product that injured you or a family member has been recalled, but it is far more important to speak with a lawyer who understands Florida product liability laws about your legal rights.
Should I participate in a product defect class action lawsuit?
At Searcy Denney, we represent clients individually as well as in mass tort and class action litigation. Participating in a class action can be an efficient way to recover compensation for product-related injuries, but there are a number of factors to consider before deciding which type of case is best for your individual circumstances. During your free initial consultation with a Florida product liability attorney, we will help you weigh your options and choose the type of case that makes the most sense for you.
What if I was not using the product as it was intended to be used?
If a product injured you and you were not using the product as it was intended to be used, you could still have a claim for damages. Many of these types of claims involve the “failure to warn” defect discussed above. If you had no reason to know that your particular use of the product presented a risk of injury, then you may be entitled to financial compensation.
When is a product considered to be legally “defective”?
A product is considered to be legally “defective” if either (i) it is not reasonably safe for its intended use or (ii) the product did not come with adequate warnings about the risks of improper use. For example, a hammer may be considered defective if it is prone to breaking under normal use. Or, a vehicle’s airbag may be considered defective if it does not provide adequate protection or causes injuries upon deployment.
With regard to inadequate warnings, if a risk associated with a product’s use is not apparent (i.e., the risk of a household cleaning solvent causing chemical burns), this can potentially support a product liability claim as well. If information is needed to use a product safely or otherwise avoid injury, then failure to provide this information is paramount to manufacturing a defective product.
Can I sue the manufacturer if a defective product injured my child?
Yes, if a defective product injured your child, you can pursue a claim against the manufacturer. You may also be able to pursue a claim against the retailer and other companies in the “chain of distribution.” Unfortunately, from children’s furniture to playground equipment and from clothing to toys, many types of children’s products carry hidden dangers. If your child has been harmed, we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys about your family’s legal rights.
Can I get a free consultation for a possible product liability claim?
Yes, at Searcy Denney, we provide free consultations for all product-related personal injury and wrongful death claims. If you have questions about your legal rights, we encourage you to get in touch. You can contact us 24/7, and we can make arrangements for you to speak with one of our attorneys over the phone or in person as soon as possible.