Defective products may be the result of faulty manufacturing, design, or inadequate labeling. Regardless of the cause, the unfortunate fact of defective products is that they are not recognized until innocent people are hurt or killed. A defective product attorney—along with some practical advice—is essential for cases involving faulty consumer goods.
- stop using the product immediately
- check your state’s statute of limitations
- gather all packaging if still available
- tell your doctor where your injuries originated from
- gather witnesses
- throw out the product
- discuss the case with anyone
- give recorded statements
- worry if you are not the product's buyer (or user)
- file a lawsuit before talking to a defective product attorney
Cease all use of a defective product. This is not only for your own safety and that of your loved ones, but because the product may become damaged in a way that investigators will have trouble identifying flaws when the item is reviewed during a case.
Some victims of defective product accidents believe they have time to focus on getting well and that there is no rush to file a lawsuit. During this time medical bills pile up, wages may be lost from time away from work, and victims are unaware of important laws affecting their defective product case. Some states begin a statute of limitations from the date of incident. Find out if your statute of limitations has expired under your own state’s law.
The original packaging and receipt can be extremely helpful for victims of defective product accidents. This will officially identify model and unit information, when and where the item was purchased, and creates a paper trail to track back the product officially to the manufacturer. The original packaging is also evidence of inadequate labeling if proper warnings were not displayed that could have prevented injury.
This may seem like an obvious step, but a doctor's report must reflect the nature of injuries; victims of accidents caused by defective products must show a defined injury or loss. If there are no medical records reflecting treatment of an injury caused by the product, it will be very difficult for a case to be won.
If the defective product caused an accident that was witnessed by others, gather their names, addresses, and phone numbers so that your product liability lawyer can compile statements from them.
Your first step is to stop using the product, but throwing it away could ruin your defective product lawsuit. Special investigators and experts will be called on to review the materials, check for manufacturing errors, flammability, and multiple other tests associated with the type of injury the product was allegedly responsible for.
Talking about your defective product case, even with friends or family (unless they are witnesses), is not advised. All of the information regarding your case should be shared only with your defective product attorney.
If the manufacturer's representatives contact you to discuss your injuries, refuse to speak with them. They may try to persuade you into recording a simple statement to summarize the accident, but this could be used to twist your words against you as your case progresses.
Anyone injured by a defective product, whether it's personally or materially, can file a lawsuit. They do not have to be the person who purchased the product or who was using it at the time that it caused an injury. For example, a house guest uses a faulty heating pad when they visit your home. If it causes a fire and damages your home and injures you or your family, you have every right to file a lawsuit.
There are complicated product and manufacturing laws that affect liability in cases involving defective products. Without an attorney who has experience representing victims of defective product accidents, victims sometimes file lawsuits with the party they believe is responsible for the negligence. However, an attorney will be able to advise about other areas of liability and identify all potential defendants that the victim would have missed out on otherwise.
Consumers are always at risk when using products, but they should not be the victim during a defective product lawsuit. These suits are often complicated for a number of reasons. An attorney will coordinate experts, engineers, and witnesses to build the strongest case possible to compensate the victims for their losses and damages. Have the peace of mind of working with a product liability lawyer to make certain your best interests are represented.