Consumers purchase items with the understanding that they can use them safely. In some instances, though, manufacturing defects has a negative influence on the safety and life spans of products. When this happens, individuals can work with a manufacturing defects lawyer in Fort Lauderdale at the Montero Law Center to seek compensations for damages incurred by using the product.
Florida has several laws intended to protect consumers and businesses. This can make it difficult for the average person to determine whether he or she has been the victim of manufacturing defects. Seeking counsel from an experienced product liability lawyer can help you determine whether you have an actionable case. It is important to understand that there are limitations that will affect the lawsuit. In most cases, the sooner you start your lawsuit, the easier it is to prove you deserve financial compensation for damages.
Common Types of Manufacturing Defects
Product liability lawsuits must involve manufacturing defects that cause harm, even though the owner used the product properly. If you use the product improperly, then your case against the manufacturer becomes difficult or even impossible to pursue. If, for instance, you drove a riding lawnmower off a wall because you were cutting grass while intoxicated, it’s unlikely that a court would rule in your favor. If, however, the riding lawnmower’s steering system failed, then you probably have a good case.
Some common types of manufacturing defects include:
- Structural weaknesses that cause accidents (e.g., a bike chain breaks and causes a crash).
- Missing parts (e.g., a car missing its brake pads).
- Defective ingredients (e.g., an over-the-counter drug that has is tainted with poisonous chemicals).
It’s important to understand that these liability suits are only effective when the damage is caused by manufacturing defects. Inherently dangerous products are not usually included in this type of suit. They fall into an area of liability called defectively designed products.
Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Lawsuits
Florida’s statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits gives victims up to four years to file suit. The clock does not start ticking, however, until the victim discovers the manufacturing defect. Florida courts also consider when a reasonable person would discover the defect. If, for instance, your car’s Check Engine light comes on because of a faulty pump, a reasonable person might use this opportunity to explore the problem. Failing to do so does not extend the statute of limitations for damages.
In some cases, a person may pursue compensation for damages that occur within 12 years of first purchase. The court considers a product’s expected useful life to last about 10 years. Beyond that time, the owner has no expectation of continued use. If an injury occurs after 12 years, the person cannot seek compensation by suing the manufacturer. Those who try likely will see their cases thrown out by the sitting judge.
Pursuing Compensation for Manufacturing Defects
A successful manufacturing defect lawsuit requires ample evidence showing that the product failed unexpectedly while using it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some evidence that may help your case includes:
- Receipts showing when you purchased the product.
- An owner’s manual detailing how to use the product.
- Eyewitness accounts explaining how damages were incurred.
- Expert witness accounts explaining how products are expected to work.
- Similar claims from other owners who have experienced the defect.
This evidence can take quite a bit of time to gather and arrange into a convincing argument for the court. Your chances of success can improve significantly when you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult your claims are to prove.
Contact the Montero Law Center to schedule a meeting with an experienced manufacturing defects lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who will help you determine whether you have a viable case and how you can pursue compensation.