We all enjoy the conveniences of modern shopping, and appreciate the functionality and purpose of many of the products that are currently on the market. As consumers, some of our purchases are based on need, such as buying appliances, clothing, and furniture. Other purchases are made simply to add pleasure or enjoyment to our lives. Regardless of what we buy or where we buy it, we take for granted that the products we purchase will not only work, but will be safe to use. Despite state and federal laws and oversight, injuries due to unsafe or defective products can and do occur regularly, causing serious, potentially life threatening damages to consumers. There are several resources today’s consumers can use to ensure the products they use are safe, as well as laws intended to punish manufacturers and distributors of unsafe products that cause harm.
Unsafe or Defective Products
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the government agency whose job is to protect the general public from defective and unsafe products. Laws passed by Congress allow the CPSC to establish safety procedures for consumer goods, and outline the procedures and actions the CPSC can take when products are determined to be a risk to the public health. Since the CPSC was established in the 1970s, there has been a 40 percent decrease in deaths and injuries due to unsafe products. At the same time, the CPSC estimates that deaths, injuries, and damages caused by unsafe products continue to cost the American public over one trillion dollars per year.
The CPSC enables consumers to report unsafe products, and maintains a list of products it has investigated and found to be hazardous. There are a wide variety of products causing injuries to consumers which are listed by the CPSC, including the following:
- Halogen light bulbs, causing burns and lacerations;
- Children’s toys that contain choking hazards;
- Kitchen faucets causing burns and fire hazards;
- Furniture which has a danger of tipping;
- Watches that cause skin irritations; and
- Smoke alarms that fail to work.
The list of defective and potentially unsafe products is updated daily, and includes thousands of products that unsuspecting consumers use every day.
Legal Recourse If You Have Been Injured
Under the Florida State Statutes, Section 768.81, people who have suffered injuries or damages as the result of defective products may be entitled to compensation. Under the legal theories of negligence and product liability, manufacturers and distributors are responsible for ensuring their products are safe, and can be held accountable injuries resulting from defects in design, manufacture, or distribution of the product. Injured parties may be entitled to receive compensation for the following:
- Medical care and treatment, both current and ongoing;
- Lost wages, both past and future;
- Pain and suffering caused by the injury; and
- Punitive damages, meant to punish the at-fault party.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an unsafe or defective product, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, our attorneys understand the impacts that can result from these types of injuries. Our attorneys will help to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions, and help you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.