Companies typically put a lot of effort into designing a product to make it foolproof. They then usually need to invest in quality control measures at their manufacturing facilities to ensure that every item they produce meets the same standards.
Unfortunately, some companies rush through the product design phase or cut corners when it comes to quality control in an industrial setting. The result may be a poorly designed and dangerous product or a defective batch of an otherwise safe product putting the public at risk.
Generally, the law allows consumers hurt by defective products the possibility of making a financial claim against the manufacturer of the product or even the retailer in some circumstances. Does a recall affect your rights as a consumer?
There are few black-and-white scenarios in defective product cases
Determining your rights as a consumer recently injured by a defective product is not necessarily easy. You have to explore whether the behavior of the company involved constitutes negligence, thereby putting you in an actionable position. You also have to look into what the company has done to address the issue.
For example, someone who gets hurt because they ignored a recall alert and did not return a product for a refund or repairs might ultimately be responsible for ignoring notice about the recall. However, if a company has failed to initiate a recall or if the recall started after someone got hurt, they may have a stronger case because the company has publicly acknowledged the issue with their product. Those not informed of the recall in a timely manner may also have rights even after a recall starts.
Recalls and defects involving vehicles or tools are often considered safety-critical. However, even the bacterial contamination of a room fragrance spray could lead to someone dying because of manufacturing issues. Companies that release unsafe products often have a responsibility to those who get hurt as a result.
How should people handle injuries caused by defective products?
If you or a member of your family suffered an injury because of a defective product, you obviously want to document the injury and also seek necessary medical treatment. Making an in-depth record of how the product failed could also help.