What to Do If You Have Been Injured by a Defective Product in Florida
Few things can be as shocking as being injured by a product which you thought was safe. You may not know what steps to take in the immediate aftermath of being injured by a defective product. Taking the appropriate actions immediately can help preserve your right to compensation. In this article we will discuss what Florida residents should do if they have been injured by a defective product.
There are several steps to take after you have suffered a product defect related injury. These include:
- Seeking immediate medical care
- Documenting the entire situation and organizing other relevant records
- Refraining from discussing the situation on social media or with others
- Getting in touch with an attorney and following their advice
We will discuss each of these steps in turn.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
It is important to seek immediate medical care after any injury. This includes injuries caused by a defective product. There are multiple reasons why you should get to the doctor immediately after such an incident. The first is the fact that, if you do not seek immediate medical care, the defense will often claim that your injuries were not caused by the product defect. They will often claim, instead, that you must have been injured by some event which occurred in between the time of the defect and your visit to the hospital. You can stop such an argument by seeking immediate care. The second reason to seek immediate care is that what may seem like a minor injury may in fact worsen over time. You can mitigate your injuries by getting to the hospital or clinic as soon as possible.
It is strongly suggested that you seek care even if you believe that the defective product did not, in fact, injure you. This is due to the fact that certain injuries may result in delayed symptoms. If, for example, a defect causes you to suffer a blow to the head then you may initially believe that you are fine and do not need care. You may, however, have suffered head trauma which will not show immediate symptoms. It is always best to err on the side of caution and to seek immediate care.
Document the Incident and Organize Your Other Records
You should document what has happened immediately after you or a loved one are harmed by a defective product. Such documentation should include taking any necessary photographs, recording any necessary video, and making a detailed written account of what transpired. Another important step is to preserve the defective product to the extent possible and to begin organizing any other records relevant to the incident. These records can include receipts from when you purchased the item (both paper receipts and any email confirmations which you may have), bank records showing that the purchase was made from your account, and any documentation you have related to your use of the product. Such documentation may include correspondence you have had with the manufacturer’s customer service department, etc.
It is also necessary to keep ongoing records as the case progresses. This should include keeping a daily journal in which you chronicle your level of pain, time spent going to medical appointments, etc.
Refrain From Sharing Information on Social Media or With Others
It is common for people to post their instant reaction to an event on their favorite social media site. It must be understood, however, that such information is viewable by others. Anything you say or post on social media will likely surface as evidence in your matter. Not posting any type of reaction or discussion of the situation is, therefore, strongly recommended.
It is also recommended that you limit your social media use as a general matter while your case is pending. Photos and comments can be taken out of context and they may come back to hurt your case. Suppose, for example, that you are seriously injured but you post photos online which make it appear that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Such photos would most likely end up in the hands of the insurance adjusters. By refraining from social media use, in general, you reduce the risk of information you post being taken out of context.
Contact an Attorney Immediately and Adhere to Their Advice
You should contact an attorney immediately after you have sought medical care as there are several steps which counsel will take to protect your interests. These include immediately beginning to identify all of the potential defendants in the matter. As we discussed in our article on understanding Florida’s product liability laws, there will likely be several defendants in such matters. It is necessary to identify each of them so that you do not run the risk of receiving less than full compensation. Counsel will then deal with the defendant’s insurance carriers directly so that you may focus on your health. Your lawyer will stay in regular contact with you and will advise you on how to proceed as the matter moves forward. It is vital that you heed their advice.
It is also crucial that you be honest and transparent with your lawyer. Remember that they are your advocate and that they are working to get you the largest possible settlement. If you were using the product in a way that was against the manufacturer’s guidelines, for example, your counsel must be made aware. Anything which you do not tell your attorney now is likely to be unearthed in discovery and this can hurt your case later on.
Call Us Today To Speak With a Florida Product Liability Attorney
If you have been injured by a defective product then this is a stressful time in your life. Our firm is dedicated to ensuring that you move your situation forward. We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service and we look forward to speaking with you. Call us at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to speak with a Florida product liability attorney.