Defective Products and Consumer Rights
Dangerous and defective products cause thousands of complaints to be filed each and every year by consumers. If you happen to purchase a product and it does not act like its supposed to act or function how it's supposed to function - but you do not get injured, you might be covered by a warranty or be able to get a refund.
However, if you are injured, you might have a personal injury claim for that defective product.
The 3 Types Of Defective Product Claims
When it comes to products and their defects, they fall into three main categories. These include:
Defects In Design : This type of defective product deals is about the design of a product. For example, if you have a bicycle and the manufacturer's design resulted in the chain flying off when the user reached a certain speed, this is a defect in design.
Defects In Manufacturing: On the other hand, if a manufacturer produces a car which has brakes installed that have a known history of sticking, yet the manufacturer uses them on the car anyway. If this decision results in death or injury, this is a defect in manufacturing.
Defects In Warnings: Lastly, if you have a space heater that overheats and can cause a fire but there is no warning on the box, the label or the product notifying the consumer of this, this is a defect in warning.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
Every country has its own safety commission. In the US it's the CPSC or Consumer Product Safety Commission. These are the guys that are responsible for product recalls for the general public. If a product is recalled, ALL use of that product is supposed to stop.
The CPSC also sends out emails, mails notices, and may also be featured on the evening news when it comes to product recalls. Essentially their job is two-fold. Their first job is to keep consumers from getting injured. Their second job is to protect companies from ill-gotten consumers. In other words, consumers that think they can purposely use a product that is defective - or use it improperly, get hurt, and then sue.
That's why there are "laws" and guidelines when it comes to a defective product. This is also the reason you need to hire a lawyer who knows their way around such laws.
Filing A Product Liability Claim
Anyone can file a claim if they have a defective product. However, you should be aware that you will need proof that you were using the product as intended. If you were using the product improperly, then you will fail at your claim. If you saw that the product was recalled, and used it anyway and got hurt, you will fail at your claim.
When possible, try to keep track of the products you own and any recalls that might be going on with those products. You can visit the CPSC website. The homepage features the latest recalls for products, and you can also use the search function on their website to see if any of the products in your home have been recalled. This is also a good preventative measure!
It's also important to buy products from quality stores when possible and making sure they are not second-hand stores where the previous owner might date back to 2, 3 or more people that owned the item.
If you were hurt by a defective product and you were not aware of any issues or recalls with that item you might be able to receive compensation for your short or long-term injuries. For a free consultation or to learn about your legal rights regarding defective products contact Welmaker at 800-494-1916.