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When you use a product or item you purchased as intended, the last thing you expect is to suddenly suffer catastrophic injuries. However, products malfunction or become defective far more often than you might think. When this happens, many victims are left wondering whether they did something to cause the accident or attempt to figure out what caused the incident.

You may not be sure whether you have legal recourse or what options are available to you. Get the guidance you need to navigate the aftermath of your devastating injuries. Meet with a Fort Myers product liability attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath for your free consultation today.

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Commonly-reported defective or dangerous products

Failing to provide sufficient warning labels, conduct safety testing, or ensure products have clear instructions for use could land manufacturers in legal trouble. It’s important to hold negligent manufacturers and distributors accountable – your actions now could help save someone else from being seriously hurt.

Some examples of the most common types of defective or dangerous products could include:

  • Children’s toys and nursery equipment
  • Sports and recreation equipment
  • General household appliances
  • Yard and garden equipment
  • Heating, cooling, and ventilation parts

Children’s toys and nursery equipment

Many children’s toys and nursery items are made with toxic chemicals or small parts that could be easily lodged in a small child’s throat. Between sharp edges and choking hazards, manufacturers have an obligation to adhere to state and federal safety standards to do their part to protect children and babies. This includes kid’s toys, car seats, strollers, and even cribs.

Sports and recreation equipment

When sports or recreation equipment is defective or malfunctions, the injuries victims can sustain can permanently alter the course of their lives. For instance, if a sports helmet or other necessary protective gear is poorly made, victims have the potential to suffer catastrophic traumatic brain injuries.

General household appliances

Nearly any type of household appliance has the potential to become defective or malfunction, even when used as intended. For example, gas appliances like water heaters and stoves can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, explosions, or even gas leaks. Coffee makers, toasters, and microwaves can cause fires or electric shocks due to malfunctioning wiring, and dryers and washing machines can often cause fires due to lint buildup or overheating.

Yard and garden equipment

Certain types of garden and yard equipment are inherently dangerous, even when used correctly. However, if they are malfunctioning or defective, the potential for severe or life-threatening injuries will dramatically increase. Some examples of yard and garden equipment known for causing debilitating injuries include:

  • Hedge trimmers
  • Chainsaws
  • Lawnmowers

When safety mechanisms are insufficient, chains are faulty, blades are malfunctioning or poorly made, or products do not have sufficient warning labels, victims may be at an increased risk of suffering deep lacerations that lead to sepsis or even loss of limbs leading to permanent amputation.

Heating, cooling, and ventilation parts

Other common products known for defects and malfunctioning parts include ventilation, cooling, and heating components. Inadequate wiring systems increase the risk of electric shock, explosions, and fires, while defective ventilation or cooling systems could cause devastating health issues due to inadequate circulation and poor air quality.

When manufacturers fail to properly test these products, ensure they are properly installed, conduct safety inspections and routine maintenance, or adhere to the required safety regulations, they can be compelled to compensate injury victims for their damages.

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Steps to take if you were injured by a dangerous or defective product

If you were injured by a defective or dangerous product, the steps you take in the aftermath of the accident could help you build a powerful case against the at-fault party or make it more challenging for you to access the compensation you are entitled to.

Here are some of the most important steps you should be prepared to take.

1. Hold on to the product

Although you may be anxious to get rid of the product that caused your injuries, holding onto it is in your best interests. We can have experts analyze the product to determine what caused it to malfunction, whether it was already defective when you received or purchased it, and obtain other valuable evidence that could be used to prove the product manufacturer or other party’s liability.

2. Visit the doctor

Do not hesitate to obtain a medical evaluation. Even if your injuries initially seem relatively minor, it is crucial to get medical help immediately after the accident. Not only can you protect yourself from invisible injuries that could worsen if left untreated, but you can begin building powerful medical evidence that attests to the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.

3. Make note of the incident and keep a journal of your recovery  in the days and weeks after

In the days, weeks, and months after the accident, it may be wise to keep a personal journal. During this time, you can document the various ways your injuries have affected your daily living, your ability to live your life normally, and the emotional struggles you face. Then, we can introduce these personal journal entries to the insurance company or at trial to show how substantially you have been impacted by your product liability accident and subsequent injuries.

4. Speak with a Fort Myers product liability lawyer

As soon as you have an opportunity to do so, get in touch with a Fort Myers product liability attorney to discuss the specific circumstances of your case. Although you may have concerns that you will face accusations of frivolous claims, you will not know whether you have grounds for legal action until a professional reviews the injuries and damages you suffered, the cause of your accident, and determines whether another party is responsible for causing your suffering.

Types of product liability cases

There are generally three primary types of product liability cases. These include manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn of manufacturing defects.

1. Manufacturing defects

Manufacturing defects occur when a product becomes defective during manufacturing. These types of cases generally affect only one or minimal products in a line of products.

2. Design defects

Design defects mean there is an inherent flaw in the product’s design. This means the product itself is defective, and the entire line of products is likely malfunctioning. A good example could be the Takata airbag scandal, where the manufacturer sold millions of defective airbags leading to a massive recall across the world.

3. Marketing defects (Failure to warn)

Manufacturers have an obligation to warn consumers of potential safety hazards when using their products. Inadequate placement of safety warnings or a lack of warning labels could lead to failure to warn lawsuits against product manufacturers, designers, distributors, suppliers, and even retailers.

4. Breach of warranty

When manufacturers offer a warranty and breach that warranty, they can be held accountable for the victim’s injuries. This is particularly true when consumers go out of their way to purchase additional warranty coverage, only to face pushback from the product manufacturer after suffering injuries or damages.

Make sure you file a claim before the deadline

According to the Florida statute of limitations under Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) you will only have four years from the date of the accident in most cases to file your lawsuit. If your claim is not filed before time runs out, you can expect the civil court system in Fort Myers to deny you the right to face the liable party at trial.

Possible damages you could claim

You have the right to be made whole or compensated for all losses after a product liability accident. To ensure fair compensation, damages will be categorized as economic or non-economic.

Economic damages

Economic damages are financial or out-of-pocket costs. Some examples could include:

  • Medical bills
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Permanent disability
  • Personal property damages
  • Lost wages

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages under Florida Statutes §766.202 do not have a financial value and are more difficult to quantify. However, since they are so impactful, ensuring you receive fair compensation is crucial. Examples of non-economic damages put include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Skin scars from third-degree burns
  • Diminished enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

Our attorneys work hard to get you maximum compensation

When you need a product liability lawyer you can count on, look no further than our legal team at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. We will carefully review every single way your life has been affected by your traumatic injuries to ensure you receive fair compensation and the liable party is held accountable to the fullest extent possible.

Common product liability injuries

There are countless types of injuries you could sustain in a product liability accident. Some of the most common injuries our dangerous product attorneys handle include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Third-degree burns
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries and soft tissue injuries

Who may be liable for your injury

Multiple parties may share liability for the injuries you endured due to a product malfunction or defect. So examples of such parties could include:

  • Product manufacturers
  • Parts manufacturers
  • Wholesalers
  • Retail stores
  • Product installers

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Cost of hiring a product liability lawyer in Fort Myers

It is difficult to say how much you might spend hiring a Fort Myers product liability lawyer to help you recover the compensation you deserve. However, when you choose our personal injury law firm, you can rest easier knowing you do not have to put down a retainer or spend any of your own money pursuing your case.

Instead, we will cover all the costs associated with filing your product liability lawsuit. We will hire experts to analyze evidence and testify on your behalf, cover the costs of court filing fees and deposition expenses, and any other out-of-pocket expenses that might arise.

Then, if your dangerous product attorney wins your case, a percentage of your settlement funds will cover your attorney’s fees. However, if we do not win your insurance or civil claims, you will not have to pay anything for our services. This way, you are never putting your own money in jeopardy when you are already struggling to cope financially.

Our Fort Myers product liability attorneys are here to help

We understand how overwhelmed you must be feeling. Between the physical trauma of your injuries and significant financial losses and struggling to cope with the emotional distress of the incident, taking on a large insurance company or pursuing a civil lawsuit can seem like a burden you do not want to bear.

With help from a Fort Myers personal injury lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, you do not need to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. We will handle every legal detail of your case so you can start to heal and rebuild your life.

Call our office at (239) 888-8882 or fill out our convenient contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced product liability lawyer at our firm today.

Discover your legal options today.

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