When you’re hurt by a
defective product, you might be tempted to call the manufacturer, complain, and demand a
free replacement. This sort of response is understandable since this is
exactly what product manufacturers tell you to do. However, you should
always be wary of what a party that caused you harm through negligence
tells you to do.
Sending a defective product back to its manufacturer right away after an
accident and injury caused by that product is not in your best interests
at all. In many ways, it is like being hit by a negligent driver, and
then agreeing with them that you won’t take any photographs of the
scene for your own. You wouldn’t do that in any circumstance, so
why would you comply with a product maker’s instructions?
If you send back the defective product, you are placing
the single most important piece of evidence for your pending personal injury claim in the hands of the defense, the
opposition. You will have just minimized your own chances of receiving
fair compensation for your injuries and maximized their chances of getting
away with paying you nothing. Obviously, this is not what you should do.
For the time being, keep the defective product, as you are under no obligation
to send it back once you’ve purchased it fair and square. You should
also keep any packaging for the product that you can find. Oftentimes,
product packaging and provided instructions – or a lack of these
items – can be just as crucial to an injury claim as the product itself.
What Should You Do Instead?
After being injured due to a product defect, you should take photographs
of what happened and see a doctor. This is true of any accident, so you’ve
probably already taken those steps. Again,
keep the product that caused you harm, even if it has been recalled by the United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Next, you should connect with a personal injury attorney as soon as you
can. With the assistance of your attorney, you can begin better documenting
what happened and compiling an injury claim to bring against the product
manufacturer. They are highly likely to deny any liability for what happened
to you, so you should be preparing for a lawsuit and potential litigation.
Once you discuss what happened with your attorney and show them the defective
product, you and your lawyer can decide whether or not to send it back
to the manufacturer. In most cases, your lawyer will not advise you to
surrender the product until your case is closed and finished. Again, handing
the product away to the manufacturer for their “examination”
will strip your claim of keystone evidence, so you won’t want to do it.
Hurt by a defective product in Texas? Call
512.271.5112 to speak with a product liability attorney from The Stewart Law Firm,
PLLC in Austin. We represent plaintiffs across the state in a variety
of injury cases. Free, no-obligation consultations are available.