Filing a product liability case may seem like a simple process. You may have used a product and were injured while doing so, and now want to be compensated for your damages. However, a seasoned Belle Glade defective products lawyer knows it could take a lot of investigating to determine who in the chain of production – materials suppliers, manufactures, wholesalers, distributors, or all of the above – is responsible for your injuries.
The typical product defects case can be more complex than expected, both factually and legally. Hiring the right personal injury attorney can make all the difference. Domnick, Cunningham & Yaffa is here to guide you in your product liability case.
The Legal Theories of Belle Glade Defective Products Cases
Florida law applies strict liability to product liability cases. If a manufacturer or supplier put a faulty product into the marketplace, they can be held liable for any harm it caused. Products can be defective in either the design, manufacturing, or marketing process. A Belle Glade defective products advisor is well versed in the legal strategies required to prove each type of defect.
Products designed as intended that still pose a serious risk of injury to the public could have a design defect that made it a liability from the start. Florida law requires products to perform as expected by a reasonable consumer using those items in their intended way. For example, a power saw with a safety feature that does not provide enough protection to prevent operators from cutting their fingers could be responsible for a design error.
Products that cause harm as a result of an irregularity in the production process suffer from a manufacturing defect. Even if just one batch was compromised in the manufacturing process, a lawsuit could be brought against the makers of the product. A car accident that occurs because a recalled vehicle has a failing part in its braking system would be an example of this type of defect.
Products designed and manufactured as planned but lacking instructions or warnings could be due to a marketing defect if serious harm to the public is likely. For instance, a failure to warn customers that a hair device is extremely hot when plugged in and could cause severe burns points to a lack of warning labels.
Florida Law Limits Recovery Damages in Defective Product Cases
Florida’s strict liability law limits an injured party’s recovery. A Belle Glade legal professional with defective products experience could help victims navigate these matters to achieve a positive outcome in their case.
Time Limits for Bringing a Lawsuit in Belle Glade
Generally, Florida product liability cases must be brought within four years of the injury occurring. Some injuries may take a while before they manifest, so this timeframe is subject to Florida’s discovery rule. The four-year period begins when the injured party becomes or should have become aware of the harm, but even here there is a limit. For all products with an anticipated lifespan of ten or fewer years, Florida’s statute of repose bans the filing of any lawsuit 12 years after the product was purchased.
How a Consumer’s Actions May Affect Recovery
In these cases, Florida law may apply the concept of pure comparative negligence to determine the allocation of fault and recovery of damages. Companies could, unfortunately, use this concept as a defense, arguing that the consumer:
- Altered the product in some way
- Did not use the product as directed or intended
- Failed to heed warning labels
Defendants will usually deny responsibility and point to other companies in the supply chain as the real culprits. A Belle Glade defective products legal representative could ensure the correct defendant is held liable for their actions.
Caps on Damages Awards
Even when injured parties prevail, the monetary award they receive is not limitless. Punitive damages – rewards intended to punish the guilty party – are capped at $500,000, or three times the compensatory damages awarded. This award may be increased to $2 million, or four times the compensatory damages if the defendant was reckless or malicious.
Get Help with Your Complex Case from a Belle Glade Defective Products Attorney
Product liability cases are not your ordinary personal injury cases. The legal concepts are specific, the facts may need a great deal of investigation, and there could be numerous defendants to bring a claim against.
You could work with an experienced legal counsel to overcome these hurdles. A Belle Glade defective products lawyer could work tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome. Place your trust in Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa and call for a consultation today.
Speak to a member of our team today.