Have you recently suffered an injury while using a product that you later came to find was defective? Did your injury cause you to loose time at your job or incur substantial medical expenses? If so, your best course of action is to seek the council of product liability attorney Miami. In an age where corporations are taking every measure to maximize their profits even at the expense of quality production, consumers must be aware of the product liability laws and regulations that exist on their behalf. Product liability attorney Miami will assess your injuries, damages, and lost wages then provide expert guidance on the best course of action necessary to successfully settle your claim. Achieving a settlement in a product liability claim can be a complex and overwhelming process, especially when the defendant is a large corporation. Manufacturers are aware that the average consumer is not informed on product liability law, which is why consulting product liability attorney Miami is your best bet in receiving restitution for your injuries or damages.
Product liability refers to the field of law that holds the businesses, corporations or individuals that provide goods and services to the public accountable for any harm or damage that their products may cause to the consumer or the consumer’s property.
In many cases if a defective product is purchased from a store and that store received the product from a manufacturer, or wholesale supplier then a claim will be made against the manufacturer or supplier as opposed to the store where the product was purchased. Strict product liability will hold the manufacturer accountable for a defective product even if they were not responsible for making the product defective. (See Strict Product Liability) While we often think of a “product” as a tangible object, tool, or device such as a cell phone or a motor vehicle, in the case of product liability law the term “product” must be understood in a broader sense. For example; a bank account, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage or a cosmetic surgical procedure may be considered “products” which are bound to product liability regulation.
The most common types of defective products are manufacturing, design, and marketing. These defects can hinder its use and lead to an accident. When you purchase a product that can’t perform as promoted but still doesn’t produce an injury, you are generally covered by a warranty and can go back to the store to get a refund or exchange it for another product.
In the field of product liability law, there are 3 types of defects which are accepted as circumstances under which a product liability claim can be made. These circumstances are as follows:
When product liability claims are made they usually occur under three different categories or scenarios; Breach of warranty, negligence, and strict product liability. As a consumer it is imperative that you know the difference. When an accident occurs due to a faulty product or negligence on behalf of the supplier, a Miami injury Lawyer will be your best bet in settling a claim.
Any product liability claim grounded on the basis of negligence assumes that the manufacturer or producer of a product failed to meet a standard (or duty) of care, or produced a product that was defective and as a result of the defect, a consumer(s) was injured while using the product. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to mitigate the any harm their products may cause or assess the potential harm that their product can cause and forewarn the consumer of that harm before the consumer can purchase the product. Warning labels and recommended use instructions are examples of a responsible manufacturer mitigating risk.
Strict product liability claims are centered exclusively on the status of a product being defective. This means that even in a scenario where the manufacturer was not negligent in the production or distribution of the product, they are still responsible for restitutions if a consumer receives a defective product and is injured by the use of the product. For example let’s say a manufacturer of a product outsources the packaging of their product to a packaging company, and this company does not properly secure the product. If a consumer purchases the product and it is damaged, and that damage leads to injury, the consumer may be eligible to receive reparations from the manufacturer and the packaging company on the basis that they purchased a defective product and were injured as a result. Strict liability does not require a plaintiff to provide causation of negligence.
We have all heard the term “5 year power train warranty” in reference to the purchase of a new motor vehicle. This is a perfect example of a manufacturer providing warranty for a product in the case of a malfunction or defect that isn’t caused by the consumer. Manufacturers take excruciating detail when outlying the terms of their warranty to ensure that the terms are not misunderstood. Specificity in a warranty statement will ensure that consumers do not file claims in a scenario where damage or injury was actually due to misuse of a product and not a malfunction or defect. A product liability attorney must be diligent in ensuring that a breach in warranty has actually occurred before a claim or law suit can be filed on behalf of their client. Products that are mass produced and assembled in a factory on an assembly line with minimal human supervision are most likely to cause a breach in warranty. Electronic hardware such as cell phones, computers, video game hardware, and motor vehicles have been known to carry factory defects which constitute a breach in warranty. In many cases vehicle manufactures will act proactively and administer a recall in the case of a defective product.
When filing a product liability claim, a product liability attorney must work along with a plaintiff to prove the following criteria.
Proving that you have suffered injury or loss
In a product liability claim the plaintiff will have to provide evidence that they have suffered an injury or loss. A Miami injury lawyer will assess the total monetary expenses that their plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This will include all present and future medical costs incurred to restore the injured party back to optimal health. If the injured party must take time off of their job while recovering from an injury, the total loss of wages during their time away from work will be included in the settlement.
Proving the existence of a defective product
Before a product liability claim can be settled, a plaintiff will have to prove that they purchased a defective product. This means that the plaintiff and the product liability attorney representing the plaintiff must prove that the product was defective at the time of purchase, and that the plaintiff did not tamper with the product in such a way that it became defective. The plaintiff must also prove that they did not misuse the product in a way that led to their injury.
Proving that a defective product caused your injury
This criterion indicates there must be a direct correlation between the defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s injury. A defendant in a product liability claim will more than likely aim to prove that the plaintiff misused the product, or that there was an assumed risk involved with the standard use of the product.
Seller or manufacturer’s duty
The defendant’s responsibility to ensure the safety of their consumers is known as duty of care. For example; In the United States any electronic products that require an electrical outlet to function must be approved by UL LLC before distribution can commence. UL LLC works in conjunction with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to ensure that all electrical products and products that emit low level radiation (such as cell phones) meet industry standards of safety. In a scenario where a cell phone manufacturer produces a phone that emits more radiation that the recommended safety levels established by UL, a consumer of that cell phone would be able to file a product liability claim on the basis that the manufacturer did not fulfill their duty to meet the industry standard level of safety.
After consulting a product liability attorney, they may recommend filing a class action lawsuit as opposed to an individual lawsuit. A defective product that is widely available to consumers such as a child’s car seat sold at a popular department store, may put thousands of consumers at risk of injury. In such a scenario, a class action lawsuit will be more appropriate than filing an individual law suit. A class action suit allows a group of consumers to resolve their claims in one court proceeding as opposed to all injured parties filing separate claims. While most class action suits involve a group of individuals who suffered similar injuries from a defendant, a class action can involve individuals who are not aware that they were at risk of injury.
If you or a loved one living in the Miami Dade metro area is suffering from injury due to a defective product you may need to consult a Miami injury lawyer or product liability attorney to adequately assess your damages, and instruct the best course of action to guarantee successful reparations. When a product liability claim is made against a manufacturer there is a good chance that the manufacturer or defendant will attempt to prove that the consumer or plaintiff altered the product in such a way that it increased the chance of injury, or that the plaintiff misused the product and their injury is a direct result of this misuse. A Miami injury lawyer will know just how to retort any claims that a manufacturer may present during the process of your product liability lawsuit. You are not alone.