Can I File a Lawsuit if I Was Injured by a Recalled Product?
Florida’s product liability laws allow individuals to file civil claims against companies that manufacture dangerous products. In most situations, these cases revolve around claims of a defect in design, manufacturing, or marketing and typically involve the liability of multiple parties. However, plaintiffs who can establish that they were injured by the product while using it the way it was intended, could be entitled to compensation for related medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This is true even if the negligent company in question issued a recall prior to the filing of the suit, so if you were injured by a recalled product and have been denied compensation, you should reach out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer for help.
What are Recalls?
Companies that discover a defect in one of their products often issue recalls, in which they ask consumers to send back the product. In some cases, these recalls are not issued until after someone is injured and files a civil claim against the at-fault company in court, while in others, they are issued as soon as the defect is discovered, whether by their own employees or a government agency. For instance, last month, Hyundai and Kia announced that they would be recalling almost 600,000 vehicles due to a brake defect that could result in fluid leaks and fires. In that instance, the automakers allegedly received around 15 separate reports of fires before issuing the recall.
Once a recall is issued, notice will be sent to all distributors and sellers who stocked the product, as well as purchasers of the item if possible. These notices typically instruct consumers on how to have the product replaced or repaired and will warn of any particular dangers posed by the defect. While it may seem like a recall represents a company’s admission of guilt in manufacturing a defective product, the reality is that issuing a recall doesn’t automatically indicate that a company is liable for resulting injuries.
Using a Recall as Evidence
Negligent companies often try to avoid liability for designing or manufacturing a defective product by claiming that they issued a recall and so are not responsible for subsequent injuries caused by the product. The issuance of a recall, however, doesn’t automatically protect a company, whether a manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer, from being held liable for their negligence. Instead, evidence of a recall can be used by injured consumers who are attempting to prove the elements of a product liability case, namely that the product was defective and that the defect resulted in their injuries.
It is also true, however, that in some cases, courts won’t allow plaintiffs to use evidence of a recall to prove that a product was defective. On the flip side, proof of a recall doesn’t act as an automatic defense for a negligent manufacturer, who can only avoid liability if it can prove that a specific plaintiff directly received notice of the recall and that the recall provided an adequate warning of the dangers posed by the product.
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Please call Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 today to learn more about filing a civil claim against the company whose negligence led to your own injury.