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Experienced Fort Myers Product Liability Lawyer

When you buy a new product, you expect it to be safe for use and for the manufacturer to provide instructions and any applicable warnings for use. Dangerous and defective products can cause severe injury, devastating victims and their families; and sometimes injuries are fatal. Companies who design, build, and sell new products have a legal obligation to make sure their products are safe through testing and quality control processes during manufacturing.

Even when companies follow through, a faulty design, damage during shipping, or modifications made by wholesalers or retailers can lead to a defective product which causes harm to a consumer.According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), millions of people visit emergency rooms across the United States each year as a result of product-related injuries. If you, your child, or another family member has suffered injuries caused by a defective product, Florida law permits you to seek damages in civil court.

Contact the skilled product liability lawyers at Viles & Beckman in Fort Myers at 239-334-3933 for a free case review and to learn how we can help you after an injury from a defective product.

Advocating for the Injured Since 1995

The product liability attorneys at Viles & Beckman have been committed to helping the injured recover compensation they deserve since 1995. With more than 40 years of experience negotiating, settling, and litigating personal injury cases, including product liability cases, Viles & Beckman’s legal team has recovered millions of dollars of damages for their clients.

We cannot guarantee results in any particular case because each has its own circumstances and defining characteristics; but we can guarantee we will aggressively advocate for you, help you hold negligent companies accountable, and diligently pursue the best outcome for your individual situation.

Commonly Reported Defective Products

The CPSC gathers and analyzes data on defective products and product-related injuries across the United States. It’s impossible to list the thousands of defective products, but you can get an idea of commonly reported defective products by looking at the CPSC product groupings. The following product groupings contain several categories of items which have been reported defective to the CPSC:

• Child nursery equipment

• Toys

• Sports and recreation equipment

• Home communication and entertainment

• Personal use items

• Household containers

• Yard and garden equipment

• Home workshop equipment

• Home maintenance

• General household appliances

• Heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment

• Home furnishings and fixtures

• Home structures and construction materials

• Miscellaneous items such as fireworks, gasoline, and elevators

Large motorized items might also be defective or have defective components. The CPSC tracks things like scooters and mopeds, but they don’t collect data on automobiles, trucks, and boats. Although motor vehicle defects vary widely, defective airbags and defective tires remain commonplace.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

Advocating for Those Injured in Product Liability Accidents Since 1995

  • 100% No Obligation.
  • Free Honest Case Review.
  • No Fee Until We Win.

The firm’s continued dedication in advocating for their clients has led to the recovery of millions of dollars from negotiated settlements and court-awarded damages. It’s impossible to guarantee results because each case has distinctive characteristics, but our team will advocate for you, and do our best to build a strong case against liable parties to obtain the best outcome for your individual situation.

The legal team at Viles & Beckman has more than 40 years of experience helping injured clients recover the compensation they deserve for losses related to car accidents and injuries caused by negligent parties.

What Makes a Product Defective?

On a rudimentary level, you understand a defective product is one which doesn’t work; but, when lawyers and courts talk about defective products they refer to specific legal definitions. Like most other states, Florida recognizes three main types of product defects which can lead to a lawsuit:

Design defects

01

occur in the early stages of product development. When designers conceptually work on a new product it seems safe and a great idea to fill a need in the market place, but in fact, the design is unreasonably dangerous. In product liability suits, a product must pass the consumer-expectation test, or it is defective. Courts assess whether a product “performs as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used as intended or when used in a manner reasonably foreseeable by the manufacturer.” In some situations, Florida courts also use a risk/benefit test to determine a design defect. This test asks whether the risk of danger from a product design is greater than benefits from using the product.

Manufacturing defects

02

occur after the design phase of a product, when companies assemble or construct the product. In these cases, the design was safe, but the execution of the design created a defect making the product more dangerous than intended. Manufacturing defects can occur as a result of using cheap materials, the wrong materials, improper construction, poor assembly, and mistakes, such as missing pieces, bad welds, and damaged materials. When products with manufacturing defects end up in the hands of a consumer, it’s often a result of poor quality control at the manufacturing facility.

Information defects

03

include a broad range of defects related to marketing and instructions associated with a product. Manufacturers have a legal responsibility to warn consumers about hazardous aspects of their product, and when applicable, they must provide instructions for use. When companies fail to provide instructions, improperly label their products, or do not provide adequate warnings to consumers, their products have an information defect. Specifically, Florida courts find products “unreasonably dangerous, if injury from a product could have been prevented by providing a warning or instructions.

How were you injured?

We understand the frustration of dealing with an injury and the financial fallout that comes with expensive medical bills. Losing your ability to work after an injury and being pressured or ignored by the insurance company is something no one should go through.

No matter how you were injured, a Florida personal injury lawyer from Viles & Beckman may be able to help you recover your losses.

Liability in a Product Liability Lawsuit?

Under Florida law, a product liability action occurs when harm, injury, or death is “caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product.” Any party involved in a product’s chain of distribution might be negligent or strictly liable for damages related to a defect. Parties who you might name in a product liability lawsuit include:

Product Manufacturer

01

Global companies headquartered in the United States as well as startup companies operating out of garages can face liability from a defective product that causes an injury. Manufacturers of parts which make up larger items such as automobiles, machinery, and boats might also be liable in a lawsuit.

Product Wholesaler or Distributor

02

Product distributors might be liable in a lawsuit if they knowingly sell defective products to other companies, make defective modifications to the product, or cause damage that leads to a defect.

Shipper

03

When the manufacturer contracts a third party to ship a product, damage might occur during a pick-up, transport, and delivery. If damage leads to a defect that causes injury or death to a consumer, a third-party shipping company might face a product liability lawsuit.

Retailer

04

Whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store, consumers who purchase new products expect items to be safe for use. If retailers knowingly sell defective products, make false claims, or provide misleading testimonials about the safety and use of a product, they might be liable for damages even though they didn’t design or manufacture a product.

The skilled Fort Myers product liability lawyers at Viles & Beckman have experience dealing with insurance companies, investigating accidents, and helping clients recover damages for their injuries. Let a qualified attorney handle the details of your case.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

Fort Myers Product Liability FAQ

A product liability case is when a product causes severe injury or even death, due to no fault of the user. A small piece of a toy causing a child to choke, an airbag not deploying, or a cellphone battery catching fire are all examples of potential product liability cases.

 

The first step to filing a lawsuit for a faulty product is to speak to a product liability lawyer. They will be able to review your case and determine if the faulty product is grounds to file the suit.

 

The three main types of product defects are design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. Determining what type of defect is at fault in your case is a crucial step because it helps determine which party can be held liable.

 

FAQ

Seeking Compensation in Fort Myers Product Liability Suits

If you have sustained an injury or lost a loved one because of a defective product, Florida law permits you to seek damages related to your injuries in civil court. Florida courts award compensatory and punitive damages in personal injury cases, but punitive damages are reserved for cases involving gross negligence. For example, if a manufacturer knowingly distributes and sells a defective product and tries to cover it up, it’s highly likely a Florida court will award punitive damages for injury or death. Compensatory damages are intended to financially compensate victims for losses incurred as a result of their injury. You might recover these compensatory damages if a court rules in your favor:

  • Medical expenses including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, radiology, prescription medication, and aftercare
  • Future medical treatment when a defective product causes a permanent injury or condition requiring lifelong medical care, or causes a severe injury requiring extensive recovery
  • Rehabilitation expenses for physical therapy or other types of specialties, as well as costs for assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, and prosthetics
  • Lost wages for missing work due to injury, hospitalization, and recovery
  • Lost earning capacity for severe injuries which prevent an injured person from returning to their job or forces them to reduce hours or change professions
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Any other non-economic loss which might apply to a particular injury

If a court awards punitive damages to a plaintiff in a Florida product liability case, they must comply with laws capping the amount punitive damages:

  • Maximum punitive damages cannot be more than three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
  • In extreme cases, Florida courts have the authority to award maximum punitive damages four times the amount of compensatory damages or $2,000,000, whichever is greater.

About the Author of this Page

The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at Viles & Beckman LLC who have a combined experience of nearly 60 years: Marcus Viles, Michael Beckman or Maria Alaimo. The information provided in this article comes from years of experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida along with extensive research. Our services are available to the residents of Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, and any other area in Florida.

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Over 40 Years of Experience

Over 40 Years of Experience

We have championed injury victims' best interests since 1995, and we wouldn't use or legal abilities any other way.

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Board Certified by the Florida Bar

Florida recognizes Attorney Marcus W. Viles's reputation for legal excellence. As a result, he upholds this prestigious title.

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A successful case outcome starts with preparation. We sit with every client to grasp the personal injury matters they are dealing with.

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Because of the fact that our firm works on a contingency fee basis, our clients don't owe us a dime until we win their case.

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Helping those Injured in Accidents Across Florida

While we are proud to call Fort Myers home, we are also more than happy to help injured people living anywhere in the Sunshine State. In fact, we’ve even been known to travel all around the country just to meet our clients’ needs.

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