Product Liability Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
With millions of products put into the stream of commerce each year, it’s inevitable that some of them will be defective. Defective products cause millions of injuries each year. From automobile defects, medical equipment failures, and thousands of other items consumers use each day, it’s not surprising that more and more consumers are injured each day.
Product liability law looks at the causes of a defective product to determine who is liable, and after a liable party is identified, help a victim receive compensation for their injuries. Both individual and class action lawsuits use the courts to help protect consumers when an item fails to perform as it should.
Product liability law can be difficult and is wrought with complex issues surrounding an item’s design and manufacturing. The Fort Lauderdale product liability lawyers at Schlacter Law can help. With years of experience assisting our clients, we know how to help you get the best compensation possible. If you were injured by a product, call us today for a consultation.
Types of Defective Products in Fort Lauderdale
Anything produced and put into the stream of commerce in Fort Lauderdale is considered a product. Typically, defective products that cause injuries fit into a few broad categories, including:
- Automobiles and auto parts
- Medical devices
- Children’s products
- Consumer goods and electronics
- Pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs
- Swimming pools and hot tubs
- Industrial equipment
Automobiles and other vehicles account for a large portion of defects and injuries. With so many parts required to make a vehicle operate properly, one failed component can create a serious safety hazard and put anyone in the vehicle at risk for an injury. If the number of automobile recalls is any indication of the enormity of the problem, there were over 29 million vehicle recalls in 2018, an increase of over 13% from the year before. Faulty Takata airbags were responsible for over 41 million vehicles requiring an airbag replacement and resulted in over 16 deaths and countless injuries.
Other automobile parts manufacturers have been responsible for a large number of recalls due to defective products. This includes the entire tire industry, with millions of tires needed to be replaced each year due to a defect. Other important safety parts include faulty seatbelts, improper functioning brakes, and faulty accelerators.
Medical devices make up another large portion of product liability lawsuits. Between 2013 and 2018, there were over 1,600 medical device recalls, causing serious injuries to patients. When a medical device is implanted inside a patient’s body, the risk of injuries increases exponentially. Medical devices might include stents, pacemakers, defibrillators, contraception devices and other products implanted into the body.
Children are especially prone to injuries resulting from items that were specifically designed for their use. Suffocation and strangulation are particularly worrisome design and manufacturing flaws that end the lives of thousands of children each year. In addition, various small parts from toys to cribs can create choking hazards and heavy objects such as bookshelves can easily fall over and crush a child.
There are more and more electronic devices in our homes today than ever before. From computers and TVs to cell phones and security systems, there are countless devices that can fail and cause serious injuries. A defective portable heater, for example, can overheat, creating a fire hazard that can burn a victim and destroy a home in minutes.
The pharmaceutical industry continues to promote its new and improved drugs each year. While the FDA does its best to ensure that these items are safe, improper testing and a company’s failure to consider the long-term effects of their products causes millions of injuries each year.
Swimming pools, spas, and other related equipment can create serious hazards for adults and children. Unintentional drownings have increased year over year since 2014. Additionally, improperly designed pools can cause slippery surfaces which can lead to slip and falls, resulting in serious harm.
Businesses are not immune to product failures as well. From heavy equipment to faulty office machines, improperly designed ladders, and scaffolding, there are numerous machines businesses encounter each day that can fail to work properly, causing severe injuries and death.
With so many different types of products out there, any one of them can cause a serious injury when it fails to work the way it was intended. If you were injured by a faulty item, talk with a product liability lawyer in Fort Lauderdale today. We can help determine who is liable, and help get you the compensation you deserve.
Types of Product Liability Defects
There are three categories of defects when it comes to product liability in Fort Lauderdale. These three categories are:
- A defective design
- A manufacturing defect
- A marketing defect
Defective designs are usually present all the way back to the planning stage of the item and are caused by the way the product is improperly designed for the use it was intended. This type of defect would exist when the product’s design was unreasonably dangerous and would usually affect every unit of the product produced. Often this requires a recall of the entire product line.
A manufacturing defect is one that didn’t exist in the planning stage of production, but rather is a result of a fault on the line that produced it. Because the fault is not necessarily inherent in the design, generally only a small number of items have the defect, requiring a smaller recall.
Marketing defects exist when a product fails to warn a consumer of reasonable risks associated with the product’s use. A marketing defect can be avoided by providing the consumer with a label pointing out the dangers inherent in the item. Often, if a product fails to warn a consumer of a danger that would be considered obvious, it might not be considered a marketing defect. For example, a chainsaw purchased for cutting a tree is an obvious danger for that purpose, and may not need a warning to avoid liability.
Defects in product liability cases require careful consideration of the facts that led to the injury. Often, the burden is on the plaintiff to establish that the defect existed in the first place. There are other avenues for litigation in cases where it would be difficult for a plaintiff to establish that a defendant created a defective product. Strict liability is a legal theory that allows a plaintiff to attribute liability without having to establish that the manufacturer was negligent. Rather, it would make a manufacturer liable simply by putting an item in the stream of commerce and that product caused an injury.
Issues of manufacturing defects and strict liability require an experienced product liability attorney’s assistance. From evidentiary issues to the amount of compensation available, a product liability lawyer understands how complex these cases can be. With years of experience working to help our clients, the Fort Lauderdale product liability lawyers at Schlacter Law can help. Call us today for a consultation.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I was partially at fault for an injury?
Florida follows the legal doctrine of comparative negligence. This doctrine allows an injury victim to recover compensation even if they were partly to blame. Instead of barring any compensation at all, comparative negligence reduces any monetary award by the percentage of blame attributed to the victim. In cases where the victim would have normally received compensation for $100,000 but was found to be 15% at fault, compensation would be reduced by $15,000. If you have questions concerning who is at fault, contact a Fort Lauderdale defective product attorney today.
How can I afford a lawyer?
Most attorneys get paid through a contingency fee arrangement for these types of cases. Instead of paying an attorney directly, the attorney gets a percentage of any compensation they secure on your behalf. Typically, the attorney would receive between 33.33% and 40% of any award on their client’s behalf. This allows a victim to initiate a claim without having to put out any money right away. Talk with our product liability law firm specialists for a consultation.
What is the average amount of compensation I can expect to receive?
There really is no average amount of compensation available in these types of cases. Compensation varies greatly based on the circumstances of each case. Variables such as the severity of any injuries and the costs of medical care would impact how much money would be available for a victim. Call a defective product lawyer now to help determine how much compensation might be available to you.