What to Know About Product Liability Law
When a product fails and causes injury, it’s likely that the people involved in manufacturing the product can be held liable for their part in the breakdown. Product liability attaches liability to the manufacturer, seller, and distributor. In some cases, the suppliers and retailers can be held responsible for product failure.
While product liability is very broad, generally the law is limited to products that are considered a tangible personal property.
Product liability often comes from two types of harm, either defective design that causes physical injury or lack of warning labels or instructions about the product use.
Product Liability Negligence
Negligence occurs when a party fails to exercise normal or ordinary levels of care to any group that has suffered an injury due to their failure to ensure the safety of their product in some capacity. For example, here are five main ways that a manufacturer might be found as negligent in conduct:
- Product design
- Material selection
- Production process
- Assembly and product testing
- Inadequate warnings or instructions
Product Liability Laws and Statutes
In the United States, most products have certain standards that they must meet in order to be distributed to the general public. These guidelines are established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). While the CPSC is a federal agency, no federal laws cover product liability and injury cases. Therefore, all product liability claims and subsequent injury claims will fall to the state laws to enforce.In Florida, a product liability claim must be made within ten years of the possession of the item as stated by the statute of repose. Meanwhile, personal injury claims must be made within four years. If the claim includes wrongful death, then the statute of limitations becomes two years. Since every product liability situation is different in relation to your injuries, it’s important to work with a personal injury lawyer to be sure that your case is handled appropriately as you pursue compensation for injury.
Florida also outlines certain limits on damages by following the pure comparative negligence rule. If you were part of the reason behind the accident, you may file a lawsuit but the recovery of damages will be reduced. For example, a defective product liability that causes $100,000 in damage, but you were found to be 50% at fault for the accident, the financial award will become $50,000.
3 Types of Product Liability Law Cases
Product liability law often falls into three different categories: defective design, manufacturing defect, or marketing defects. Each of these categories refers to how a product can be defective in some way, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone was injured. However, a personal injury caused by a product defect should be filed for a personal injury law claim.
In the situation involving a defective design, the manufacturer intentionally created a product that is actually unreasonably dangerous. For Florida, this concept of “unreasonably dangerous” is determined through a consumer-expectation test that checks to see if the product performs in a way that the consumer expects. If the product does not perform as expected and causes unforeseeable problems, this can be considered unreasonably dangerous.
A defective design means that all products are likely dangerous and defective.
Some defects occur in manufacturing because the product was not created in a way that lined up with the actual design. Even if the product design was safe, the manufacturing defect occurs, causing a defect that might result in injury. When an injury is caused by a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer is liable for those injuries.
A manufacturing defect means that only some of the products may be dangerous and defective.
A properly designed product with the wrong warnings or not enough instructions can cause harm. When individuals suffer harm or injury from a well-made product that did not include the appropriate instructions and warnings, this is considered unreasonably dangerous and a marketing defect. In this situation, claims can be made against the manufacturer or distributor.
A marketing defect means that the product is not innately dangerous but without the proper instructions, it can be dangerous to users.
Filing a Product Liability Negligence Claim Lawsuit
For a product liability negligence claim, certain points need to be proved for the case to be won in Florida. A claim can be made in Florida against product makers, manufacturers, distributors, or sellers for a product that has been dubbed defective in design, manufacturing, or marketing. To win a negligence claim, the case must show that actual injury or monetary loss occurred, that the product was defective in some way, that the product caused the injury or loss, and that the product was used as intended.
When it comes to product liability, product designers, manufacturers, and distributors have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of that product and therefore the safety of the consumers.
If you have suffered an injury due to a product defect, reach out to a lawyer today to determine your legal solutions. At Carrillo Injury Law, we specialize in personal injury law, and we can help you determine the next steps for your product liability claim. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.