Seek Help From a Crestview Personal Injury Lawyer
Defective product claims run the gamut. If you’ve been injured due to a defective product in any scenario — whether your truck crashed thanks to a defective set of brakes, or whether you were hurt by a defective lawnmower — then you may have a right to sue and recover damages under Florida law.
Product defect claims can be somewhat difficult to understand for first-time plaintiffs, as they operate on different principles to “standard” personal injury claims. For clarity, let’s explore some of the basics of a product defect claim in Florida.
Product Defect Claim Basics
In Florida, most product defect claims are brought under a theory of strict liability. What this means is that the plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant-manufacturer was negligent in creating a defective product — they need only prove that the product was actually defective and that the defect caused their injury.
The manufacturer can be held “strictly liable” for the plaintiff’s damages, regardless of whether the manufacturer was actually at-fault. Even if the defect was created entirely by chance, and through no misconduct of the defendant-manufacturer, they can still be held liable.
In Florida, the legislature has decided that the burden of loss should be shifted to manufacturers, as they are more likely to have the financial resources (and insurance coverage) necessary to pay for those losses. Further, it puts pressure on manufacturers to implement proper quality and product safety protocols.
Establishing Liability in Florida
Whether a product is “defective” under strict liability rules depends on whether you — the plaintiff — can prove that the defect was “unreasonably dangerous” for its expected uses. This is a highly fact-dependent assessment and will vary from case-to-case.
If a lawnmower blade was designed in such a way that it was much more likely to detach and strike the legs of the user than a typical lawnmower blade, then the court may consider that to be “unreasonably dangerous,” and therefore defective.
It’s worth noting, however, that as the plaintiff, it’s important that you have used the product for its intended or expected purposes. If you take a lawnmower blade and attempt to repurpose it for blending fruit shakes, then the manufacturer cannot be held liable for the injuries caused by that repurposed blade (unless doing so is a regular and expected use of the product).
Contact a Crestview Personal Injury Lawyer for Assistance
Powell Law Firm is a personal injury firm founded 69 years ago, dedicated to serving injured clients throughout the state of Florida. Over the years, we have assisted with a wide range of litigation, including product defect disputes against powerful manufacturing companies.
Unlike many of our competitors, we are willing and able to pursue a case all the way to the trial phase, giving us an advantage during early settlement negotiations — the defendant must seriously consider the possibility of going to trial as opposed to making a favorable settlement offer.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced Crestview personal injury lawyer at our firm, call us at 850-682-2757 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.