Understanding Florida Product Liability Claims

When we buy a product, whether it’s food, an appliance, or a car, we expect and trust that the product will be safe for our use. Sometimes, however, these products can cause property damage or injury, which may mean that you may be eligible to receive compensation. From prescription drugs to negligently manufactured appliances, product liability lawsuits are always available for consumers so that the public can hold manufacturers accountable.

According to a recent news report, a major car accident involving a Tesla is prompting a federal investigation into the vehicle’s new technology and safety for consumers. After the accident killed two people, U.S. safety investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board sent three representatives to specifically look for photos or videos of the crash or the fire that broke out after the initial accident. Because Tesla vehicles are electric do not use gasoline, it is unclear what specifically caused the crash or the fire. It is also unclear whether the vehicle’s automated driving system was activated at the time of the collision, which has been the subject of federal interest in recent years. The report investigators plan to generate will create recommendations to other federal agencies about future safety regulations.

In Florida, there are frequent incidents that give rise to similar product liability claims. These claims, however, are subject to specific laws and requirements that govern product liability lawsuits. Because these cases can often be complex, it is crucial that potential plaintiffs understand the details surrounding filing a product liability lawsuit and what a claim will entail.

First, potential plaintiffs must adhere to the statute of limitations for product liability claims, which is four years for injury to an individual or to property, and two years for wrongful death. In Florida, however, the discovery rule applies to product liability cases. This means that the clock begins on the date that the individual discovered or should have discovered what caused the damage giving rise to the case.

Second, Florida follows a pure comparative negligence rule framework. This means that if the consumer is partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your fault. Thus, if you file a lawsuit where a defective product caused $100,000 in damage but you were 60 percent at fault, your $100,000 reward would be reduced by $60,000.

Lastly, potential plaintiffs must understand the basis for liability that their claim is proceeding under. Florida courts typically follow two types of product liability theories: products liability and negligence. Product liability focuses on the defective product itself while negligence places liability on the manufacturer, distributor, or seller. In Florida, products can be considered defective because of design, marketing, or manufacturing.

Do You Need a Florida Product Liability Attorney?

If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed by a defective product in Florida, contact the attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada today. Our lawyers fight for the injured and will provide you with the guidance, support, and legal expertise necessary to pursue your legal claim. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 877-448-8585.

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