Blogs By K Ryan

Woman injured by defective product considers whether her claim will be considered personal injury or product liability

Understanding the Difference Between Personal Injury and Product Liability

What is personal injury?

Florida law defines personal injury lawsuits as cases where a person is injured due to another entity’s negligence, wrongful act, or breach of contract or warranty. This umbrella lawsuit category gives way to more specific types, such as medical malpractice or product liability.

Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may result in compensation for related costs, such as long-term medical treatments and mental anguish.

If the lawsuit finds the defendant to have engaged in either gross negligence or intentional misconduct, the plaintiff may become eligible for punitive damages.

According to Florida law, intentional misconduct is when a defendant knew about the wrongfulness of their conduct and the risk of injury it carried, but engaged in the conduct anyway.

Gross negligence is when an entity’s conduct is considered to be so negligent that it shows conscious indifference or disregard for the claimant’s safety, rights, or life.

If a person pursuing a personal injury claim succumbs to their injury, their personal injury claim will become null. Certain members of the decedent’s family as defined by state law may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

What is product liability?

According to Florida law, product liability refers to product manufacturers, designers, and related parties’ responsibility to provide safe products. If you are injured by a defective product or suffer a loss due to the defective product, such as in the case of a house fire caused by a malfunctioning appliance, you may have grounds to file a product liability claim.

There are several standards that must be met for a product liability claim to be viable. Most importantly, the injury must be caused by negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, or similar actions by parties involved in the product’s design, formulation, construction, manufacture, installation, assembly, or preparation.

Part of what makes a product defective is that the injury occurred while the product was being used properly. However, there are cases in which poor or faulty instruction may lead to legal action.

Pursuing a product liability lawsuit can result in compensation for costs such as lost income and medical treatment. Additionally, this type of legal action alerts companies to serious issues, which means your lawsuit may prevent others from being hurt.

In these types of cases, Florida allows fault to be split between parties, all of whom are assumed to be responsible for the product’s ability to safely perform as intended.

There are several types of product liability cases, such as those that claim injury or loss due to a defendant’s failure to warn of product dangers or a design defect.

Why are product liability and personal injury sometimes confused with each other?

Both product liability and personal injury lawsuits deal with injurious negligence, which may be why the two are often confused, but that’s where their similarities end.

In addition to the aforementioned qualities of each lawsuit type, a major difference between product liability and personal injury is the claimant’s burden of proof.

In product liability lawsuits, a viable claim proves that the product was defective, used correctly, and caused the injury or loss. Plaintiffs do not have to prove fault as product liability lawsuits use the rule of strict liability, which assumes that the ability to use a product without suffering an injury is the responsibility of those involved in the product’s supply chain.

While personal injury lawsuits require plaintiffs to prove similar points, such as the defendant’s behavior resulting in their injury, they also require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant had and violated a duty of care to the plaintiff. Duty of care means that the defendant had some obligation to care for the plaintiff’s safety.

Have you been injured by a defective product or someone’s negligence?

Contact a Personal Injury or Product Liability Lawyer.

If you’re dealing with loss or injury caused by a defective product or the negligence of another entity, you are entitled to seek compensation. As intimidating as pursuing legal action may sound, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, & Fronrath is here to assist you every step of the way. We handle each case with the utmost care.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, & Fronrath has won their clients millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Let us fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a risk-free consultation.