Injured By a Defective Product? Here’s What You Should Do
Nobody ever buys a product thinking that they’ll get hurt by using it. People buy products under the assumption that it will be safe to use once they get it home. But every year, a surprisingly large number of people seek medical attention for injuries related to consumer products. In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that over 38 million people sought medical attention for injuries related to (but not necessarily caused by) a consumer product.
While some of those cases may be caused by people misusing products, not all of them are. Sometimes, a product is defective in some way, rendering it unsafe to use. There are three different ways a product can be considered defective: by design, by manufacture, or by failing to provide adequate instructions or warn of dangers. Regardless of how a product is considered defective, they can all have very serious effects for the person using the it. For example, a medication with a label that fails to warn of a dangerous side-effect or interaction might result in a person getting very sick while a toy that isn’t manufactured correctly could send a child to the hospital.
Accidents are always upsetting and ones that involve defective products are no exception. If you’re injured by a defective product, what steps do you need to take?
As with any other type of accident, make sure you get medical attention right away. Not only is it important that you get the care you need, but seeing a doctor right after an accident helps directly link your injuries to the accident. If you wait for get medical attention, the company that manufactured the product might try to argue that the injury was actually caused by something else.
Don’t Get Rid of the Product
When you’ve been injured by a product, the product itself is going to be one of the most important pieces of evidence you can have for your case. Be careful not to alter it in any way after the accident occurs. If you have other items directly related to the product, such as its original packaging, its instructions, and the receipt for its purchase, be sure to keep those as well.
After an accident, you’ll have a lot of things to deal with. Even if you’re normally good at remembering things, this is a situation where it’s best not to rely on your memory. Keep records of things like doctor appointments, medications you take, medical treatments you receive, people you talk to about the accident, and how your injury directly impacts your life. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, these sorts of records will be very helpful for your case.
Look for Other Cases/Make a Report
In some cases, a defective product is an isolated incident, but there are occasions when it’s a more widespread issue. Search around online to see if you can find any other reports about other people having similar issues with the product. If a defect is widely spread, a recall might have been issued for it.
Another good thing you can do is report the product to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC oversees many different types of consumer products and if you report a dangerous product to them, they will review it and decide which steps to take next. Your report could help provide them with some important information.
Contact a Defective Product Lawyer
For cases that involve injuries caused by a defective product, a defective product lawyer can be very beneficial for your case. Dealing with businesses and the lawyers and insurance companies representing them can be extremely intimidating and a lawyer will be able to handle that for you so that you can focus on taking care of yourself.
The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Goodwin and Scieszka are well-versed in other facets of law, such as medical malpractice cases. Contact us to see how we can help with your legal needs.