Sustaining an Injury Due to A Faulty Product
Before being put on the market, the law requires that all consumer products meet and maintain safety and quality standards at all times. However, it is not a new thing for defective or faulty products to find their way into the market. While these are often recalled after some time, sometimes it's too late and even then, the product may have already caused injuries to a considerable number of consumers by the time it's getting withdrawn from the market.
Whether it's electronics, cars, cosmetics, or even nutritional products, injuries caused by faulty products are actually quite a common phenomenon. And, truth be damned, it could happen to you or a loved one at some point. While this is the last thing you would expect, especially if you get all your consumer products from a trusted brand, knowing what to do when injured by a defective product can make a huge difference. This having been said, here are some things you ought to know about sustaining an injury due to a faulty product and what you should do after finding yourself in the situation.
What's a Faulty Product?
Consumers are often entitled to various legal protections once they purchase a product from the market. In essence, the law requires the specific product to fulfill certain quality and safety standards; and to be fit for the purpose for which it is being purchased. While a defective product may refer to a product that is simply non-functional or one that doesn't function as per the expectations, a faulty product means that it could lead to certain injuries or harmful effects during or after use by the consumer. This means that a good product should be safe, free from defects, of good quality, and fit for the intended use. Unfortunately, faulty products have been known to cause injurious effects to consumers from time to time.
Duty of Care
Product manufacturers are liable for the duty of care to their consumers. Consumer law requires them to strictly observe safety standards in their manufacturing process to ensure that the products they provide to consumers are safe and of good quality. Failure to do so portrays negligence and is considered as a breach of this duty of care by the brand or manufacturer. If you're injured due to a faulty product, you could qualify for compensation by the brand or manufacturer in question or their insurance company. All it takes is proving negligence or breach of duty of care on the company's part. Compensation could include reimbursement for suffered losses, pain and suffering, treatment expenses already incurred as well as those you're likely to incur in future to the injuries in question. The compensation may also include lost income due to the injuries.
If you believe that you've suffered an injury as a result of a faulty product, you will obviously need to seek compensation for your pain, suffering, and associated losses as mentioned above. These are often known as product liability compensation claims. However, you will need to actually prove to the insurance company or court that the injuries were actually caused by defects of faults from the product in question. Terry Bryant, a seasoned Houston product liability lawyer says that for your claim to be approved, you'll also need to provide sufficient proof of your damages or losses due to the injury. Unfortunately, the claiming process can be quite demanding when working on your own. From gathering evidence to compiling proof and filing the claims on time, it can be a taxing process that may make you give it up altogether, especially if the injuries are too severe for you to move around. These are just a few reasons why it's highly important to get a personal injury lawyer to assist you.
Who Can Make a Claim and When?
The faulty product that results in an injury could be a car, cosmetic product, an electric appliance, a tool, household products, and even food. Even though much of the liability lies on the product manufacturer, sometimes importers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers can be held accountable. The best person to make a product liability compensation claim is the person that is actually injured by the faulty product. However, it's also important to point out that you don't have to have purchased the product yourself, as long as there's proof that the product was new. It's also worth noting that an injured person's dependents of the believed in case of death can make a compensation claim on the victim's behalf.
What to Do After a Faulty Product Injury?
Depending on the product, the nature of the faults/defects, and the circumstances under which they occur, injuries caused by faulty products may range from mild to severe. As earlier mentioned, knowing how to handle the incidence can reduce your pain and suffering while increasing the possibility of receiving fair compensation. Here are some things you should do after an injury due to a faulty product.
After sustaining any kind of an injury or experiencing adverse side effects due to a product you suspect is faulty, the first and most important step to take is to seek medical attention ASAP. Delayed treatment can make your injuries worse and depending on severity, some injuries could even be fatal. In addition to this, a medical report is one of the documents you'll need when making a claim.
It's only wise to preserve all the evidence you can get to prove your injury and the faulty product. The good thing is that photographs are admissible evidence in court and to do so, you could take photos of your injuries along with the defective products or even a video and keep it somewhere safe. Also, it's essential to note down in writing, every detail you can remember about the incident, your injuries and the faulty product as soon as you can after getting treatment. By all means, avoid returning the faulty product to the manufacturer or retailer as this could mean giving away evidence that would help prove your case. Instead, giving these to a trusted personal injury attorney could be a wise move.
If the incident happened in the presence of a witness, their statements could make your case stronger. Get their contact information, just in case you need them to testify in a hearing in future when pursuing your claim. Again, this is something that your product liability attorney will help you with.
Watch what you say or post on social media:
Discussing the details of your injury with strangers can be damaging to your case. Also, your social media activity could be accessed and potentially used against you in the trial. It's best to be preservative on the matter and only discuss it with your attorney or trusted friends.
Document your recovery:
It's also important to keep a journal documenting your recovery process. You could do this by taking regular photos of the injury as it heals, recording doctor visits, and preserving all treatment bills until trial, as well as, any future recommended visits or treatment plans. This will be helpful to the judges in determining how much you deserve in compensation or during settlement.
Faulty products can be life-altering in many ways. If you believe that you've been injured due to a manufacturer's negligence, you deserve compensation for the pain and losses suffered from the same. With the above in mind, getting relief after sustaining an injury from faulty products may not be so difficult.