Every year, millions of Americans purchase and use products without getting hurt. We put our trust in others to make and sell products that will not harm us when we use them properly. However, what happens when you follow a product’s instructions, use it properly, and through no fault of your own, are injured by it?
It can be a daunting task to determine whether a product is defective and an even more daunting task to pin down those who are responsible. For this reason, many people opt to hire a personal injury attorney to aid them in their quest of obtaining justice. Here is more on defective products and how you might go about getting paid for injuries they could cause.
What Is a Defective Product?
A defective product is one that fails to perform its intended or advertised function or one that is unreasonably dangerous when used correctly. Additionally, products that fail to properly contain warnings of potential danger may be construed as defective.
However, not all product-related injuries are caused by defects, and not all product malfunctions constitute defects. Also, if you sustain injuries from products that you use improperly, or you fail to maintain the product as recommended, then you might not succeed in bringing a defective product claim – otherwise, the value of your claim might be reduced in value through your contributory fault. Finally, using a product without adhering to safety precautions could reduce your chances of succeeding with your claim.
So, if you handle a product how you are supposed to and are injured, then you might have a defective product lawsuit on your hands. In fact, under Florida law, you could bring a civil lawsuit which is based on a theory of strict liability, negligence, nuisance, breach of warranty, and other theories that relate to the construction, manufacture, formulation, design, preparation, installation, or assembly of a product. For example, with negligence, you could argue that you sustained an injury from the product, that the product was defective, and that the defective product caused your injury even though you used it properly.
Common Defective Product Cases
Defective products are typically broken down into three categories:
- Defective design
- Defective manufacturing
- Inadequate safety warnings
Check out some of these common examples of defective product cases:
Modern cars, trucks, and motorcycles are incredibly complex machines. Despite the auto industry being one of the most heavily regulated, it has been known to experience defective designs and manufacturing.
Perhaps one of the most notable examples of this is the Ford Pinto. In the 1970s, Ford Motor Company became aware that its Pinto might explode if struck from behind. Even though it was possible to correct the issue, Ford apparently opted not to do so and released the vehicle to the general public. Evidently, multiple Pinto owners were injured or killed due to the alleged defective manufacturing of the vehicle. As such, multimillion-dollar lawsuits were filed by victims or their families.
You may have seen Ikea in the news for injuries caused to children because of Ikea furniture tipping over onto them. These cases are a classic example of inadequate safety warnings. Even though Ikea’s dresser was not inherently defective in design or manufacture, there was a risk of it tipping over and pinning down small children. Despite its efforts to recall the dressers, Ikea was found by a court as failing to issue adequate safety warnings. For this reason, the company was held liable for the injuries and loss of life caused by its dressers.
Defective medication and cosmetics
Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications have been known to be defective. Most commonly, these cases surround ineffective safety warnings. Recently, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was sued for selling baby powder knowing that it contained asbestos. The company reportedly hid that adverse information from the public with reckless indifference to the consequences. All told, Johnson & Johnson had to pay more than $100 million in compensatory and punitive damages for its conduct.
Our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You
Navigating the maze that is a defective product lawsuit is no walk in the park. Figuring out what caused your injuries in addition to determining who is at fault is a tall order without involving an experienced attorney.
If you believe that you or a family member has suffered injuries due to a defective product, then consulting with a personal injury attorney is essential for holding those accountable and ensuring that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Our lawyers at The Watson Firm, PLLC have the experience and discernment to make the best decision for your case when it comes to determining fault and who to sue in a defective product case.