What to Do If You’re Injured by a Recalled Product
Consumers are surrounded by products we rely on in our day-to-day lives.
Our vehicles get us where we need to go. We use appliances to keep our clothes, dishes, and homes clean. Some of us depend on medical devices to keep us in good health.
Unfortunately, when these products fail, people can get injured especially if the product has been recalled.
If you’ve suffered from an injury from a recalled product, you may be able to start a claim and receive compensation. However, product liability claims and product recalls can be complex and confusing. Read on to learn more about how the process works.
If you still have questions or have been injured by a recalled product and are seeking an experienced legal team, the defective product attorneys at Carr & Carr can help.
How Does a Product Recall Work?
A defective product can be recalled by the manufacturer on its own, or if a government agency like the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prompts the manufacturer.
The manufacturer will usually issue its own voluntary recall, sending a notice to all distributors, sellers, and known buyers of the product. The recall notification explains how customers can get a replacement, repair, or refund. If the manufacturer doesn’t issue a recall, a government agency may issue one of their own.
In some cases, a manufacturer may issue a recall to avoid liability for personal injuries. However, issuing a recall can still result in bad publicity and lawsuits against the manufacturer. Whether or not there was a recall, injured consumers may still be eligible to file a claim to seek compensation.
Who Is Responsible in a Product Liability Case?
Understanding how product recalls work can help you figure out who may be responsible if you’ve been injured by a defective product.
Pinpointing every party involved in the chain of distribution can increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injury. Keep in mind that there may be multiple parties involved in a product liability case.
Liability begins with the manufacturer who built the product. It may be a large corporation or a small business. There may be different manufacturers that build different parts of the product.
For example, the manufacturer your car and your car battery could be two separate companies. The manufacturer’s point in the chain of distribution isn’t limited to just design, either.
Anyone in quality control testing or writing instructions and safety hazards are included as well. They may be liable if, for example, the product failed quality testing or the instructions were not properly written.
Before a product reaches customers, there are any number of suppliers, distributors, and wholesalers who help the product get there. They’re part of the chain of distribution.
A product may have been perfectly fine when leaving the manufacturer but damaged or spoiled by a distributor or supplier. If a retailer sells you the defective product, they may be liable, even if they didn’t manufacture the product or damage it themselves.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured By a Recalled Product
If you’ve been injured by a recalled product, the first thing you must do is seek medical attention. Even if your injury or illness seems minor, have a doctor evaluate you just in case. Having your medical treatment on record helps your case. Keep records and receipts of your visit.
Next, keep the defective product and any related documentation: your receipt, the packaging, user manuals, safety warnings, and so on. These materials may need to be evaluated to determine which party is liable for defects.
Then, check the appropriate website to see if the product was recalled:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall site: The NHTSA covers recalls involving vehicles, tires, car seats, and other equipment.
- FDA recall and safety alert site: Find out if food and beverage, cosmetics, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals have been recalled.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: FSIS monitors meat and poultry product recalls that aren’t covered by the FDA.
- CPSC recall site: Get recall information on consumer products that don’t fall under the umbrella of the other three agencies. Think appliances, tools, toys, furniture, home decor, clothing, and more.
Found the product that caused your injury on the recall sites above? Make note of when the recall was issued and the instructions for replacing, repairing, or returning the product. It can help if you decide to file a lawsuit against the liable party or parties.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney
If the product that injured you wasn’t recalled, or if the recall was issued a long time ago, it may be best to speak to a product liability attorney before filing a product incident report with the appropriate agency.
Lawyers who are experienced with personal injury claims can help you build a strong case against multiple defendants to get you the compensation you deserve.
The product liability attorneys at Carr & Carr are dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals who have been injured by the everyday products we all need and use in our lives. Our team of experts in Oklahoma City and Tulsa is ready to help you or a loved one with a product liability claim.