Product Liability Attorneys in Florida
Product Liability Lawyers And Lawsuit In Florida. We all use products on a regular basis, and we assume that such products are reasonably safe for their intended use. Unfortunately, many products we use every day have proven to be unsafe, causing unnecessary injuries to innocent victims. When defective products cause injuries, victims may wish to hold the manufacturer and other parties accountable by filing a product liability lawsuit in Florida.
Defective products come in many shapes and forms with various uses. Examples of defective products that harm numerous Floridians every year include, but are not limited to, the following: vehicles, car seats, children’s toys, talcum baby powder, medical devices (such as transvaginal mesh, hip implants, and IVC filters, among others), prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements, and kitchen appliances. The types of injuries sustained because of defective products can vary from one person to the next and can also range in severity from minor to catastrophic and fatal.
There are also various ways in which a product can be found defective. Perhaps the product had a bad design, was improperly manufactured, or contains a substance that is unsafe for human contact. Whatever the defect may be, the consequences can be painful, debilitating, and permanent.
Parker Waichman LLP Represents the Victims of Defective and Dangerous Products
At Parker Waichman LLP, our Florida Product Liability Attorneys have extensive experience handling a wide range of product liability cases and have successfully helped numerous clients pursue and receive compensation or their suffering. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of a defective product, it is important to act quickly by contacting our office for a free consultation.
Parker Waichman LLP Has Recovered More than $2 Billion for Injured Clients
Parker Waichman LLP is a nationally recognized law firm that provides legal representation to injured individuals from all across the United States, with a large clientele in Florida. Our law firm’s hard work and dedication have enabled our legal team to recover more than $2 billion collectively for clients from all across the country. We fight endlessly to ensure our clients are receiving the best legal representation possible as well as the best chance of maximizing the amount of compensation they receive if their lawsuit is successful.
In recognition of our firm’s success and client satisfaction, we have received the following honors and ratings:
- AVVO Rating of 9.8/10;
- AV Peer-Reviewed “Preeminent Lawyers” rating;
- Listed in Peer-Reviewed “Best Lawyers”; and
- Ranking of “5 Dragons” according to Lawdragon’s peer review.
Numbers and ratings are certainly not everything. As such, at Parker Waichman LLP, we encourage you and your loved ones to contact us with any questions you may have and allow our legal team to provide you with guidance and reassurance that you understand your current legal situation and what options are available to you.
Florida Product Liability Lawyers, Lawsuits and Settlements
Understanding Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits except that product liability lawsuits are governed by Florida product liability laws and not general negligence standards. For example, manufacturers of consumer products can be held “strictly liable” if their products are proven to be defective and have caused consumers to suffer injuries. What this means is that an injured plaintiff does not need to prove the manufacturer was negligent for the manufacturer to be held liable.
An injured person can still allege that a manufacturer was negligent, but that would be a separate claim from the claim that a product is defective. In other words, a product can be found defective regardless of whether a manufacturer was negligent in designing or manufacturing the product.
A plaintiff must prove the following to establish injuries were sustained because of a defective product:
- The product at issue was defective during the time the plaintiff sustained injuries;
- The plaintiff suffered identifiable injuries and loss; and
- The defective product caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
While a plaintiff does not need to prove a manufacturer was negligent for designing and manufacturing a defective product, the plaintiff still has to prove there is a link between the defective product and the injuries suffered. Therefore, it is critical to speak with a Florida Product Liability Attorney if you believe a defective product caused you or a loved one to suffer injuries.
Different Types of Product Liability Lawyers, Lawsuits
Florida product liability lawsuits often include multiple defendants, such as the manufacturer of the product, the manufacturer of specific components of the product, the company that assembled the product, the wholesaler that distributed the product, and the individual retail store who sold the product to the injured consumer. Product liability lawsuits can be confusing, and it is not always easy to determine what companies are responsible for the defective product that caused a person’s injuries.
Product liability lawsuits are governed by state law, not federal law. As such, if a person suffers injuries in Florida, and this person believes that the injuries were caused by a defective product, any lawsuit filed would be governed by Florida law. It is important to keep in mind that some lawsuits may be filed in federal court in Florida if the defendants are out-of-state companies. Florida state law will still apply regardless of whether the case is filed in Florida state court or federal court. Because this process can be confusing, it is advisable to consult with an attorney.
Product liability lawsuits typically involve multiple claims, including, but not limited to, strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Because negligence is difficult to prove in a product liability case, and because a manufacturer can be found liable without establishing negligence, most product liability lawsuits rely on strict liability and breach of warranty claims. However, because all product liability cases are different, it may be appropriate to assert negligence claims in some cases, but not in others.
Regardless of whether a plaintiff asserts strict liability and breach of warranty claims, the end result is the same – the product was defective, and the defective nature of the product caused or contributed to cause a person’s injuries. The confusing nature of product liability lawsuits requires the assistance of someone with significant experience handling product liability cases. The Florida Product Liability Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP possess specialized experience in product liability law that allows their attorneys to provide their clients with the legal representation they deserve.
Different Types of Product Defects
Consumer products can be defective in a variety of ways depending on the product’s intended use and in what way a product defect resulted in injuries.
Three types of general defects are often alleged in product liability lawsuits, which include the following:
- Defective design of the product;
- Defective manufacture of the product; and
- Inadequate warnings communicating hazards and dangers to consumers.
A significant number of product defects will fall into these three categories, and if an injured person can prove a product was defective in one or more ways, and that such defects caused the person’s injuries, he or she may recover in a product liability lawsuit or settlement.
What is Defective Design?
A product with a defective design is a product that is inherently dangerous before the manufacturing process begins. For example, a defectively designed child seat will not protect a child as intended, as design defects make the child seat unsafe.
What is a Manufacturing Defect?
Manufacturing defects are a defect that occurs during the building or manufacturing process – when the actual product is transformed into its final form before being sold to a consumer. The product’s design may be perfectly fine and safe, but something goes wrong during the next step. For example, one batch of a consumer product, such as Coca-Cola, may be contaminated, causing consumers to suffer illness. This manufacturing defect has nothing to do with the product’s design or formulation.
What are Inadequate Warnings and Failure to Warn?
An inadequate warning is a type of product defect that has nothing to do with either the design of the product or the manufacturing process. An inadequate warning regarding a particular product is one in which fails to communicate the true risks and dangers associated with a product. For example, a prescription drug or medical device may not identify accurate warnings, or fail to provide any warnings, regarding a potential outcome that is harmful to the consumer. If a company does not provide accurate warnings, then consumers are relying on inaccurate and inadequate information, and the company can be held responsible if its failure to warn causes harm to a consumer.
Injuries Associated with Defective Products
Consumer products can cause a variety of physical injuries as well as financial harm. Depending on the type of product, and what the product is intended to be used for, the injuries are potentially fatal. Injuries sustained because of defective vehicles, or components of vehicles (such as airbags, brakes, and tires), can be similar to injuries sustained in any automobile accident, including head injuries, fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, and death, among others.
The types of injuries associated with other products, such as defective medical devices and drugs, are somewhat different and are not your standard personal injuries relating to general accident cases. For example, individuals may develop permanent and debilitating medical conditions after taking a particular prescription medication. Such a condition is certainly a personal injury, and if the injured person can prove (1) that the medication was defective; and (2) that the defective medication caused the injury, then that person may be entitled to compensation.
There simply is no limit to how a defective product can cause a person to suffer personal injuries or death. Therefore, it is important to work alongside a Florida Product Liability Attorney to determine if a particular manufacturer should be held accountable for causing a person’s injuries or death. Additionally, the consequences resulting from product liability injuries are not only physical and mental. The financial cost associated with treating personal injuries as well as lost income can make a person’s life even more difficult, especially when injuries are permanent.
Product Liability Cases in Florida – What You Need to Know About the Statute of Limitations
Florida has particular laws that limit how long a person has to file a lawsuit on his or her own or on behalf of a deceased loved one. An individual who wishes to file a personal injury lawsuit has four years from the actual date the injury sustained to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. A person who wishes to file a product liability lawsuit asserting personal injuries sustained because of a defective product also has four years from the date the injuries were sustained.
Whether pursuing a personal injury lawsuit or a product liability lawsuit, an individual may be able to take advantage of what is called the “discovery rule” to file a lawsuit after the four-year deadline has passed by. It is not always easy to determine if a particular product has caused a person’s injuries. Therefore, an individual has four years from the date he or she knew or should have known that a particular product caused the person’s injuries. For example, if a patient has suffered injuries because of a defective prescription drug, but this person was unaware that his or her injuries were related to the drug until seeing an advertisement on TV, that person has four years from the date he or she saw the advertisement on TV to file a personal injury or product liability lawsuit.
If a person has died because of a defective product, loved ones who wish to pursue legal action have two years from the date of the loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is a strict deadline with no exception, so a family who waits more than two years to contact an attorney has waited too long and will not be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on a loved one’s behalf.
Because so much is at stake when considering legal action and because it is essential to comply with Florida’s statutes of limitation for personal injury, wrongful death, and product liability lawsuits, it cannot be stressed enough that time is of the essence and anyone interested in pursuing legal action should speak with an attorney right away.
Understanding the Case Process When Pursuing a Product Liability Lawyers, Lawsuit in Florida
All lawsuits have the potential to last for quite some time, some lasting a matter of months, and others lasting a few years. Remaining patient during a lawsuit is not always easy, especially if you are the injured victim seeking compensation for what has happened to you. While we all would love for lawsuits to end quickly, it can take a long time to fully develop a case and prepare the case for trial. Additionally, courts are very busy, and a trial date for a particular case may not be scheduled for more than a year after the lawsuit was filed.
After speaking with an attorney for an initial case evaluation, the attorney will decide whether a potential client has a viable lawsuit. If so, and the client wishes to pursue a lawsuit, a lawsuit can be filed which opens the door to discovering what went wrong and in what way a party or parties are responsible for causing a person’s injuries. This discovery process includes the production of medical records documenting injuries, deposition testimony, expert reports and expert deposition testimony, the production of corporate documents, and any other materials that prove or disprove a person’s claim.
Most lawsuits are settled before they go to trial, and this settlement process may occur early on in the litigation, or it could happen right before the trial begins. All cases are different, so one case that is settled within six months cannot be used as an example for all cases. Many cases may not be settled for well over one or two years after a lawsuit is filed. If a case is settled, it typically happens after negotiation among the parties, arbitration, or mediation. In some cases, a case is not settled until after a trial has begun, but before the trial goes to the jury for a decision.
If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, a case will go to the jury for a decision, and the losing party will typically appeal the decision. The appeal process can take years, so many injured individuals wish to settle before going to trial as a settlement is a guarantee of a specific amount of compensation. Jury trials can be unpredictable, and even the best cases may be losing cases depending on who the jury is.
The overall goal of Parker Waichman LLP is to help clients receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for their injuries, and as quickly as possible. While not every case is successful, we work endlessly to do the best we can provide clients with the best chance possible of receiving compensation that is fair and reasonable given the severity of the injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Product Liability Lawsuits and Settlements
How do I know what parties are at fault for causing my injuries related to a defective product?
Depending on the type of product that has caused a person’s injuries, either one party may be entirely to blame, or there could be multiple parties that all contributed to the defective nature of the product. Examples of parties that may be found liable for a defective product include, but are not limited to, the product designer, product manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, and retail seller. Before an injured individual can determine what parties may be to blame for producing a defective product, that person must first discuss the situation with an attorney.
How are damages calculated when awarding an injured person compensation as part of a lawsuit or settlement?
A person’s damages are calculated based on the extent and severity of the injuries, and all financial costs associated with the injuries sustained. Such costs include, but are not limited to, past and present medical expenses, lost income, future medical expenses, and the loss of chance of the ability to earn income in the future. If injuries are permanent, the monetary damages will be greater than if a person’s injuries are temporary in nature.
What if I was injured by a product that belonged to another person?
In product liability cases, the user of the product must prove that he or she purchased the product and intended to use the product as instructed. There may be exceptions that allow someone to bring a product liability claim even if he/she did not purchase the product, however, such cases can be very difficult. As such, if you took a friend or family member’s medication and suffered injuries or harm because of the medication, you would likely not be able to file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the medication. However, because all situations are unique, it is a good idea to discuss your situation with an attorney.
How much can product liability cases cost for an injured plaintiff?
All lawsuits have expenses such as filing fees, costs to obtain medical records and other documents, deposition costs, expert fees, and travel expenses, among others. Product liability cases can be more expensive than a typical personal injury case because product liability cases often require the need for multiple experts that may be located all throughout the United States. While Parker Waichman LLP works hard to limit the amount of expenses associated with a product liability lawsuit, there will always be case expenses that are necessary and unavoidable. However, it is always necessary to remember that if a case is not successful, a client is NOT responsible for reimbursing our law firm for case expenses. Our law firm only receives reimbursement of case expenses if a client is awarded compensation as part of a lawsuit or settlement.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you believe you or a loved one’s injuries were caused by a defective or dangerous product, you should consider acting quickly by speaking with a qualified Florida Product Liability Attorney. As a law firm with national recognition, Parker Waichman LLP fights for its clients on a regular basis, helping them hold manufacturers accountable when their defective products cause innocent victims to suffer injuries. The Florida Product Liability Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP provide representation to clients from all throughout Florida, with a significant number of clients being from in and around Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, Immokalee and Marco Island.
To speak with one of our attorneys about your situation, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to schedule your free consultation. We have attorneys and paralegals who speak many languages, including Spanish.
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