Every year, over 11 million people are treated for product-related injuries. Many victims ask if and who they can sue for a defective product.
If you’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you can file a product liability claim to recover your damages. The first thing you need to do is determine who is liable for your injuries, so they can be the named defendant in your lawsuit.
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What Is a Defective Product or Product Liability Lawsuit?
A defective product lawsuit, or product liability lawsuit, is a legal action taken by a consumer or user of a product that caused injury due to a:
- Design Defect
- Manufacturing Defect
- Or Marketing Defect
If this has happened to you, a product liability attorney can help you make a claim and tackle opposing lawyers to win the money you deserve.
Product Liability Claims: Who Can I Sue?
As a starting point, you can research which parties were included in the defective product’s chain of distribution. Who designed, manufactured, distributed, labeled and sold the dangerous product? In many product liability claims, it may be more than one of the following:
If your product broke during use and caused an injury, it may have been caused by a defect in the manufacturing process.
Manufacturers are one of the most common parties sued for a defective product. As the party responsible for putting the product together, they must ensure their materials, workmanship and quality-control checks all meet expected safety standards.
Manufacturers vary in size, from small independent craftsmen to multinational corporations.
In some cases, the defective part may have been produced by a different manufacturer than the one that made the entire product. For example, if a phone battery catches fire and burns you, you could file a defective product lawsuit against both the phone manufacturer and the battery manufacturer.
Additional parties may also be linked to the defect, such as quality-control teams and technical experts responsible for the instruction manual.
You can contact a personal injury lawyer to help you identify the liable parties and take appropriate action to win compensation.
Some products cause injury despite the manufacturing process going perfectly. In these cases, the design process is usually the cause.
For example, if a product manufacturer builds a safety guard on a power tool to the design specifications and the guard fails to prevent injury, then the design would likely be the cause.
Liable designers may include small independent designers or large companies.
Retailers may still be liable for faulty product injuries, even if they didn’t manufacture or design them. This is because they should protect their customers by not selling defective products.
Retailers are likely to be named in a product liability case, in addition to a manufacturer or design party.
Wholesalers and Distributors
In the distribution chain, various other parties may be liable, including suppliers, distributors, and wholesalers.
For example, a product should have clear warnings about how to safely use it, for what purpose and what risks are attached. If these are not stated and it causes an injury, you may be able to sue the relevant party.
Advertisers are a less common but potentially liable party for a defective product. This usually includes the manufacturer or retailer, but in the modern world may include spokespeople, influencers or celebrities that advertise a dangerous product.
Multiple Parties Liable
Having several defendants in your case is not a bad thing. In many cases, this can be good news as it means the other defendants will have to fight amongst themselves over how to pay for your damages. This can ensure you get paid a sufficient figure.
An experienced personal injury attorney should always handle product defect claims.
Did I Have to Buy the Product to Sue for a Defective Product?
In most cases, you don’t have to be the buyer. A product isn’t just made to protect the buyer; it should protect all users. For example, if your child was injured using a neighbor’s swing-set because the chain snapped due to a manufacturing defect, then you could still bring a defective product lawsuit, even though you didn’t buy it.
What if I Was Injured by a Defective Product That Someone Else Was Using?
There are instances where you can file a defective product claim even if you weren’t the one using it.
For example, if your husband was using a hedge trimmer while you were reading a book at a safe distance, but a blade flew off and injured you, then you may be able to sue for the defective product.
Generally, if the product failed and injured you? You can file a claim.
What if I Was Injured by a Used Product?
If you’ve been injured by a used product, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Depending on the product and defect, the supplier may be liable if they sold you a damaged or dangerous product.
Used products are a slightly gray area, so consulting a personal injury attorney is advised.
Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit Against Corporations
The parties involved in the production and sale of many products are corporations. Corporations can be held liable, but things can become complicated when there are mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and renaming. Any successor company may inherit the liability for a defective product, so should be listed as a defendant in your claim.
A product liability attorney can help you identify the liable party before filing a claim that can win you the money you deserve.
Can I Sue a Foreign Company for a Dangerous Product?
If a liable party is based outside of the U.S., this should not stop you from suing them. Many customers have been injured by dangerous products and filed claims that subject the foreign company to the jurisdiction of courts in its country.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Defective Product Lawsuit?
Personal injury attorneys can help injury victims recover damages (losses) for a wide range of both economic and non-economic factors, including:
- Medical Bills (since the date of the accident)
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Treatment Costs
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Earnings
- Childcare Costs
- Medical Equipment Costs
- Transportation Expenses
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Scarring and/or Disfigurement
- Long-Term Disability
Defective Product Statistics:
- Product Recalls Issued in the U.S. by Federal Agencies Each Year: 4,000+
- Product Recalls Issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission Each Year: 400+
- Product Recalls Issued by the Food and Drug Administration Each Year: 2,700+
- Average Personal Injury Lawsuit Payout: $1,775,759
Contact Product Liability Lawyer in Florida
If you’ve suffered an injury due to a defective product in Florida, then you deserve compensation for your damages.
We welcome all victims to contact our Florida product liability lawyers today for a free consultation.
Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas have been providing exceptional legal assistance to Florida residents for personal injury claims for decades. As partners at a U.S. News and World ReportsTier 1 Law Firm, Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., they give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
CALL (727) 381-2300 today for a free case review.