Manufacturers in Florida have a public duty to make their products reasonably safe for you to use. Because of this, suffering a personal injury due to a defective product can be a serious claim.
However, in this day and age, you have got to have your case buttoned up before you walk into the courtroom.
The first way to prepare is by evaluating whether your injury qualifies as a product liability case at all. You can do this by quickly answering these questions:
- Did you or your child personally use this product?
- Is the product flawed enough to cause an injury?
- Did you or your child actually suffer an injury by using it?
- Did the injury require medical attention or result in lost income, and/or pain and suffering?
If you answered “yes” to all of those questions, you can be fairly sure you’ve got a valid product liability claim. Of course, the best way to know for sure is to consult with a knowledgeable Florida injury lawyer.
Once you’re fairly sure that you really do have a valid claim, the next step is to figure out which category your product liability case falls under. As defined by Florida law, there are three primary categories of product defect: design, manufacturing, and marketing.
We’re going to take a look at each one in more detail.
Florida Design Defects Defined
The first category to investigate is a product’s design.
Design defects are present in a product from the very beginning, prior to assembly or manufacture. This literally means that something in the actual design of the product flaws it in such a way that it is inherently unsafe.
When a) a foreseeable risk is present, b.) the product has been manufactured properly and c.) it is being used for its intended purposes at the time a personal injury occurs, liability for a design defect lies with the company that owns that product design.
An injury caused by a product with a design defect most often has to do with something that was improperly designed and/or was not fully tested prior to your incident.
What It Means for a Product to Have a Manufacturing Defect in Florida
If a product that has caused an injury has been deemed of sound design and records reflect plenty of previous testing of that product, the next probable cause is an issue with the manufacturing.
If a product’s function somehow departs from its intended design and causes injury, then it has been improperly manufactured. This could be due to the quality of materials used, a lack of QA precautions taken on the assembly line, or problems with the manufacturing equipment itself.
Whatever the reason, if a product left the factory and caused injury, the manufacturer of that product is liable to pay for your injury-related damages.
For example, a food product may have been packaged at the incorrect temperature, causing bacteria to form in the product. Or maybe an error occurred on a mobile device assembly line, causing phones to spontaneously catch fire while in use. In either case, the manufacturer is most likely the party at fault.
Marketing: The “Product Defect” Many Floridians Don’t Even Know About
Lastly, we tend to thinking of product marketing as the ads we see on television or online. What we don’t always realize is that from a legal perspective, elements of packaging are considered marketing, too.
Ask yourself these questions: Were clear warning labels included anywhere on the packaging about the hazards associated with working with or using this product in a way that relates to your injury? Did the product come with a full set of clear instructions for how to safely assemble and use it properly?
The manufacturer is under a legal obligation to warn users of their product about any hidden dangers associated with it. It is also required to tell us how to use the product in order to avoid any danger.
So, there you have it. If you or someone you love was harmed by a product with a defect, it will fall into one of these three categories. Understanding exactly what is defective about the product can help your lawyer pinpoint where liability for the defect lies so that you know who to file your lawsuit against. Knowing this will go a long way towards determining whether your case is successful or not.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.