No Manufacturer, Distributor or Insurance Company is Immune
No matter how much a business invests in ensuring the health and safety of its customers there is always some probability that product liability claims will be made by consumers who consider themselves wronged.
As a manufacturer or distributor in the potential chain of liability, you should be aware of this and take steps to help better protect the company if and when a consumer is harmed while using your product. Product liability insurance is designed to protect your business and provide compensation for injured consumers in Florida (and beyond). However, it is important to first determine if a consumer is eligible and entitled to compensation. Only then is it necessary to determine how much compensation is appropriate in any given case.
Even when an injury occurs while using the product or is related to a consumer’s use of a product, this does not mean the consumer is compensable. Because of this, manufacturers, distributors and their insurers have various product liability defenses they could apply to protect their interests from consumer claims.
Defense Strategies for Product Liability Claims
There are several common product liability defenses a manufacturer or distributor could use. The first is when a consumer fails to give notice to the manufacturer or distributor before the statute of limitations for filing product liability claims. In Florida, product liability lawsuits brought under the theories of strict liability or negligence must be filed within four years after the cause of action occurred.
“Even when an injury occurs while using the product or is related to a consumer’s use of a product, this does not mean the consumer is compensable.”
Other defenses may include:
- self-inflicted injuries,
- the injury having no clear link to the consumer’s use of the product,
- the injured consumer failing to attend doctor appointments
- evidence supporting that the injury is not as bad as the consumer claims
- the injury being caused by using the product in a way in which it was not intended (in which case comparative fault arguments can be used)
- the injury being shown to be caused by willful negligence or horseplay
- the cause of the injury failing to be established
Your Rights, Defended
The purpose of a robust defense against a product liability claim is to ascertain if individuals are abusing the system. Alternatively, a consumer simply may not qualify for compensation despite suffering an injury related to use of the product. Whenever a product liability claim is successful, it creates upward pressure on your costs and by extension the pricing of your products and others in your industry. This may be unfair to you, your industry colleagues and other consumers who face higher costs and prices. Because of this, it is important that you take the important step of seeking the representation of an experienced product liability lawyer to protect your interests.
Hire South Florida Law to Defend Your Business
At South Florida Law, we are committed to helping manufacturers, distributors and insurance companies manage their risk with proactive legal advice regarding claims related to product liability. We help our clients avoid unnecessary liability and legal actions that can negatively impact profitability and business continuation. Although it is best to be brought in as legal counsel prior to a claim, we have the big firm resources to aggressively defend against legal opponents in litigation and arbitrations should legal action be taken against our clients. At the same time, we provide personalized service and attention to detail in your case at a price point that can only be achieved with a boutique firm of our size. Is your company faced with challenges related to product liability claims? Are you facing legal action as a result of a consumer’s negligence or a frivolous claim? Call South Florida Law today on (954) 900-8885 or reach out to us via our contact form.