The Right Steps to Take When You Use a Defective Product
February 12, 2019
When we see things for sale on store shelves, it’s reasonable to assume that they are safe for our use. While that’s normally the case, there are, unfortunately, occasions when a product turns out to be harmful. You may have heard of merchandise recalls before, when a company will take back a defective line of goods and refund the money of anyone who purchased it. But how does the process from a product being released to being recalled happen? And what should you do if you come across dangerous and defective items?
Citizens are legally protected from harm caused by defective products at the federal level by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The number of statutes is quite large, and there are specific statutes that deal with particular types of goods; keep in mind, however, that not all products are regulated. The CPSC website contains a list of everything for which it upholds standards. However, regardless of whether or not an item is on that list, you still have the law on your side.
If you were reasonably hurt by a product, you’re entitled to legal defense. There’s no strict definition for what “reasonable” entails, but generally, if you followed the manufacturer’s directions for use of a product and got hurt, or if you believe that a product’s packaging, design or composition are inherently dangerous, you could have a case. Because of all this ambiguity, it’s crucial to work with a seasoned attorney if you’re planning on suing a business for selling a dangerous and defective product. Naturally, companies don’t want to earn a reputation of distributing faulty merchandise or deal with the inconvenience of issuing a recall, so you can be certain that they have robust legal teams in place to handle such claims.
Fortunately, you can arm yourself, too. If you use a product according to its package directions and are injured, the first thing you should always do is seek medical attention. Make sure you obtain copies of any paperwork documenting your treatment. Next, you should file a report with the CPSC so that other consumers can be aware of the danger and the government can begin taking steps to address the danger the item poses. Finally, contact Whiting Law. We’ll ask you some questions about your experience and then start building your case.
The outcome of a lawsuit for dangerous and defective products can depend on many factors. There will always be consequences for a company if it is selling a CPSC-regulated product and violating their guidelines. The number of people who were hurt (or could have potentially been) will also be taken into account, as well as the extent of the injuries. A company may offer to settle with you outside of court and then voluntarily recall the faulty goods, or they may be forced to by the government. It can be hard to know what to expect when you start a lawsuit for defective products, but with a Whiting Law lawyer, you can be certain you’ll have the best legal help at your side.