When a defective or faulty product becomes available to consumers, it can lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries. For this reason, states like Florida have developed product liability laws that allow consumers to file personal injury claims against those responsible.
In order to claim compensation for an injury caused by a faulty or defective product, you will need sufficient evidence to prove the defect was present at the time of purchase. Defects can appear during various stages of the product’s development.
Winning a defective product case in Fort Myers can be difficult, as the state has complex product liability laws, and the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. As a result, many victims choose to hire a car accident lawyer in Fort Myers to help them navigate this process.
What makes a product defective?
Defects can occur in a product during several stages of development before it becomes available to consumers. This process includes the design, manufacturing, and marketing stage. Within each stage, the entities developing the product are responsible for focusing on consumer safety, as follows:
- The design stage: during this stage, product designers are responsible for conceptualizing a product that functions without causing harm to the consumer. This stage can include planning how different parts will fit and move with each other or how various ingredients will interact.
- The manufacturing stage: in this stage, manufacturers must take the design plans and use them to build the physical product. They must ensure that the product functions as it should by conducting several phases of testing. If different manufacturers produce individual parts, each may be held responsible for defects present in the final product.
- The marketing stage: instructions for using a product and related safety information can be just as important as the product’s creation. Marketers are responsible for providing information that allows consumers to use the product safely, which means providing accurate directions for use and disclosing any ingredients or materials that may cause allergic reactions. Other important information can include age restrictions and possible side effects from using the product.
Failure to fulfill these responsibilities can result in a product with defects that cause injuries. If the product in question does not comply with federal and state codes for the manufacture of consumer products, it can create opportunities for personal injury cases.
Types of Accidents Caused by Product Defects in Fort Myers
Any manufactured product on the market has the potential for defects that lead to injury. As such, product defects can cause a wide variety of injuries ranging from mild to severe. Depending on the product and the type of defect it has, consumers may experience injuries such as:
In the most serious cases, a product’s defect may lead to permanent disability or death. When this happens, the victim’s family may be able to file on his or her behalf.
Defective Products and Property Law in Fort Myers, Florida
Under Florida Statutes § 768.81(d), you can base a products liability action on a few different factors, including negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and nuisance. Of these, negligence and strict liability tend to be the most common approaches.
The difference between the two generally lies in the burden of proof. In negligence claims, you must be able to prove that a negligent action caused the defect that led to your injury. You may attribute this neglect to the designers, manufacturers, marketers, or another entity involved in the product’s creation. Since so many parties play a role in product development, this can be difficult to prove.
How to Prove Strict Liability in Fort Myers?
Alternately, strict liability only requires you to prove that the product itself has a defect that is dangerous enough to cause injury. In order to prove strict liability, you will need to prove that you did not make any significant changes to the product after you purchased it and that you followed the directions for use.
Get Help From the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato
If a defective product caused you or a loved one to suffer injuries, it may be possible to file a product liability claim and demand compensation. Since there are no federal laws regarding product liability, you will need to navigate Florida’s statutes, which can be complex.
If you are having trouble determining whether to pursue a claim based on strict liability, negligence, or another approach, you can seek out help from a personal injury law firm. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we aim to support our clients by providing honest and open communication regarding their cases. Our personal injury lawyer in Fort Myers want to help you understand the legal options available to you. Call (954) 633-8270 now to set up your free case review.