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What Should I Do With a Defective Product?

It is a well-established legal principle that manufacturers who create and then distribute a dangerous or defective product that ends up causing injury to a customer may be ordered in a personal injury lawsuit to pay compensatory damages to the injured customers. However, any such damages are only recovered after a settlement has been reached or a favorable verdict obtained at trial. This may occur months, or even years, after the customer is initially injured. Between the time of injury and the time the customer’s injury lawsuit is resolved, the customer’s own actions can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the suit.

Steps to Take After a Defective Product Injury

For household goods, tools, or other goods that can be purchased from a retail establishment that cause injury to you or a loved one, consider taking the following steps to protect your legal rights:

  • Get immediate medical treatment: You should obtain prompt treatment for any serious injuries, amputations, poisoning, or other harm you suffered as a result of the defective product. Make sure to keep copies of any medical records, medical bills, and/or photographs of your injuries.
  • Keep the defective product, if possible: If you can safely do so (i.e., the product is no longer dangerous), try to collect or (at least) photograph the defective product as thoroughly as possible. These photographs – or the defective product’s pieces, if these can be recovered – can be very useful for experts to review in determining what product defect(s) existed and establishing that these defect(s) caused your injuries.
  • Speak with an attorney about the defective product: Avoid signing any statement or form from the product’s manufacturer concerning your injuries until you have had a chance to speak with an attorney about your circumstances and rights. Agreeing to “settle” your dispute with the product manufacturer (whether by accepting cash reimbursements for your losses, a refund of your purchase price, and/or simply a replacement product) can limit your ability to recover further compensation if it turns out that the “settlement” you accepted does not fully and adequately address all of your losses.

In addition, you should detail for your attorney whether you received or were aware of any recall notice(s) related to the defective product and, if so, what steps you took and the response you received in relation to such notice.

Heiting & Irwin is Here to Help

Do not jeopardize your opportunity to receive financial compensation after you have been injured by a defective product. The knowledgeable product liability team at Heiting & Irwin are available to help you through each and every step of the recovery process. Our firm has the resources necessary to thoroughly evaluate your claim and will fight on your behalf to hold the manufacturers of dangerous products accountable. Call Heiting & Irwin to set up a free initial case consultation at (951) 682-6400. Alternatively, you can contact our firm using our online contact form.

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