If you suffered an injury from a defective product, you may be eligible for compensation for your damages. Defective product accidents occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Defective product design;
- Defective manufacturing or construction;
- Inadequate warnings or instructions; and
- Negligent marketing.
The attorneys at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you hold the product manufacturer, designer, or distributor responsible for your accident-related losses. We can file an insurance claim on your behalf or take your case to court. Call 800-747-3733 today to schedule a free consultation with a defective products lawyer in Doral.
How Can I Take Legal Action After a Defective Products Accident?
In Florida, consumers who suffer harm due to a defective product may file a defective product claim or lawsuit to recover compensation. Also called products liability actions, Florida law provides multiple legal theories under which you can bring an action if a device harms you because of a defect, including:
- Strict liability, in which we do not have to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer;
- Negligence, if the manufacturer failed in its duty toward the consumer and that failure caused you harm;
- Breach of warranty; and
In addition to the standard products liability grounds above, Florida allows you to sue for damages if an improper formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product caused your injuries. If the product defect caused your injuries to be worse than they would have otherwise, we can also take legal action.
How Soon Should I Take Action After a Defective Products Accident?
It is in your best interest to act as soon as possible after an accident. That is because Florida’s statute of limitations establishes deadlines you must meet in order to file a lawsuit. Your deadline depends on the details of your case. For example, you have four years to file a lawsuit based on negligence. If a loved one died in the accident, however, you only have two years to file a wrongful deathd suit.
You must also bring an action for products liability within the expected useful life of the product. For example, if a product has an expected useful life of no more than 10 years—and the defective product was more than 12 years old—you cannot file a claim.
If a manufacturer acted with deception, this can extend the amount of time you have to start your lawsuit. If the manufacturer knew the product was defective and actively concealed the defect, we may still be able to take action—even if the deadline has passed in your case.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations only applies to lawsuits. If we file an insurance claim and request an out-of-court settlement, these deadlines do not apply. However, preserving your ability to sue—even if you do not plan on taking your case to court—can make it easier to convince a manufacturer and their insurer to offer you a fair settlement.
How Will a Lawyer Prove My Products Liability Case?
We must collect evidence of several key points in order to win your case.
The Product Was Defective.
We will collect the evidence to establish that the product was unsafe. We often use engineers as our expert witnesses to prove defectiveness. We will also research whether there have been other products liability claims concerning this product.
The Defect in the Product Caused Harm to You.
Your injuries must be the direct result of the defect in the product. An effective way we prove this is through your medical records when you seek treatment for your injuries. It is critical that you tell the emergency room personnel what caused your injuries to provide the link between the defect and your injuries.
Your Harm Was Quantifiable.
We must be able to measure your harm. We usually satisfy this requirement by presenting your medical bills.
You Did Not Modify the Product.
We can only hold a manufacturer liable for an unaltered defective product. If you changed or upgraded the product after purchasing it, they may not be responsible for any damages it caused.
You Used the Product as Intended.
Our goal in any products liability claim is to hold the at-fault party responsible for the damage their product caused to unsuspecting consumers. If we can prove you used the product per the manufacturer’s instructions and still suffered an injury, you may have a valid case.
What Damages Are Available?
We can help you collect compensatory damages, which make you whole for your injuries in defective product lawsuits. These damages pay for your:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Decreased earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- The cost of replacement goods;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
You May Also Be Eligible for Punitive Damages.
Depending on the details of your case, you may also be eligible for punitive damages—up to the limits of state law. With a few exceptions, your punitive damages cannot be more than the larger of these:
- Triple the amount of compensatory damages; or
If the judge or jury determines that the manufacturer had actual knowledge that the product was unreasonably dangerous and highly likely to cause injury—and sold it anyways to achieve financial gain—your punitive damages can be as high as:
- Quadruple the amount of compensatory damages; or
- $2 million.
There is no limit on punitive damages if the judge or jury decides that the defendant intentionally harmed consumers.
What Happens If I Was Partly at Fault?
Florida follows the doctrine of pure comparative fault. Under these rules, you may receive partial compensation based on your own percentage of fault for causing the accident or your injuries.
If, for example, defective brakes caused a truck driver to collide with your vehicle, but you were speeding at the time, you may bear some of the responsibility for the truck accident. If a judge found you 30 percent at fault for the crash, you would only receive 70 percent of your total damages.
Our attorneys can help you understand whether or not you played a role in your defective products accident. If so, we will seek the maximum amount of compensation available.
For Help With Your Case, Contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine Today.
Defective product cases are complex. They require experience, legal sophistication, and the know-how to work with engineers and other expert witnesses. Our attorneys understand how to evaluate and handle your claim. Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today at 800-747-3733 to set up your free consultation.
We Can Help.