The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports on all sorts of mandatory and voluntary product recalls each year. When enough reports are brought to the CPSC about a dangerously defective product, the organization does its best to notify as many people as possible about the subsequent recall. Notifications are mostly sent to retailers who sell the dangerous product, who then help spread the word by contacting customers known to have purchased it or by posting information around their stores.
When you are notified of a product recall, you should take it seriously. Do your best to follow the instructions and send the product back as soon as you can. Otherwise, there could be safety and liability issues later.
Safety Issues with Recalled Products
The biggest problem with keeping a defective product that you know is defective is that it puts you and your family in danger. Even if the risk of injury is slight, it is higher than it should be for a consumer product. Please do not inadvertently put anyone in harm’s way by delaying a product that has been recalled for safety issues.
Liability Issues in Legal Matters
There is also a problem of liability that can arise if you willingly do not recall a defective product. When you are hurt by a defective product, you can file a product liability claim in pursuit of damages paid by the product manufacturer. As with any personal injury claim, your liability matters. The more liable you are for your own injuries, the less you can collect in compensation.
Not trying to send back a defective product could raise your liability in a subsequent injury claim. The manufacturer could argue that you were given an opportunity to correct the issue but chose to ignore it, effectively putting yourself in danger. While it would be unlikely that the manufacturer would be excused of all or even most liability, it would still hurt your chances of getting as much compensation as you need and deserve.
What If You Never Hear About a Recall?
Of course, there is always the very real chance that you never hear about a product recall before you are injured by a product defect. For as much good as the CPSC does, it cannot possibly notify all consumers about a product danger, especially for recalls involving products of low value. Recalling an automobile is comparatively easy since dealerships should know who bought what car from them. Recalling something like a stroller or toaster, though, creates a serious challenge for the CPSC, manufacturers, and retailers.
If you do not hear about a recall before you are hurt by a defective product, then you can still argue for full compensation. You might need to plan some steps to prove that you never got that information, though. The situation can get tricky and become a fight between who said what but retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Habbas & Associates helps clients in San Jose deal with product liability claims, especially those involving catastrophic injuries. If you were seriously injured by a product, whether or not you knew about a recall, we would like to hear from you. Please call (888) 387-4053 and connect with our attorneys today to start your case.