Check for Recalls! Preventing Defective Product Injuries
Have you ever wondered why there’s a tag on every hair dryer, warning you not to use it in the bath? Doesn’t everyone know not to do that?
In fact, there’s a reason these sorts of safety tags exist: it’s because dangerous and even defective products on the market injure and kill thousands of people every year. (In 2020, defective products sent a whopping 11 million people to the emergency room, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). Without safe manufacturing and features like warning labels, many people—especially children who don’t know any better—experience harm.
Many of the products you use every day can cause harm if they are defective or used improperly. This includes things like televisions, cleaning products, ladders, ovens, and even beds!
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help avoid a defective product injury. Keep reading to find out how to stay safe!
#1 Read online reviews.
Before purchasing something (especially if you’ve never bought that kind of item or shopped from the brand), read the reviews. Other people will often point out if the product is defective in some way. Not only does this tactic save you money, but it also helps you avoid dangerous product defects.
What should you do if there are no reviews? Avoid buying it! “Early adopters” of new products and technologies often get burned. (Sometimes literally—consider the Samsung phone users whose phone batteries exploded in their pockets!)
#2 Read all instructions and the safety manual.
It’s easy to get complacent and think nothing bad will happen, but you know what they say: better safe than sorry.
Before using a new product, be sure to read the instructions for assembly and use. Also read the safety manual and any accompanying warning labels. Finally, don’t forget to read the instructions for care: some products can become deadly if they’re not maintained properly.
#3 Be careful with secondhand goods.
Used products may no longer be as durable or safe as they were when new.
Secondhand goods can be great: they’re often a good deal, better for the environment, and unique. However, make sure to take a hard look at their safety. This is especially true for pieces of furniture, appliances, cars, etc. Is the product still in good shape, or has it fallen into disrepair? If it’s in poor shape, are you able or likely to repair it before use?
#4 Check for recalls.
Recalls are one of the most important ways that consumers can avoid deadly products.
What is a recall? Basically, it is an alert from one of six different federal agencies that tells the public a product is defective, hazardous, or unsafe. (These agencies include the Consumer Product Safety Commission, FDA, EPA, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
Recalls are issued specifically to protect the public—so you know if a product of yours is on a recall list, it’s time to stop using it ASAP!
To check for recalls, you can visit Recalls.gov. This is a one-stop shop for recalls issued by any agency. There, you can find recalls for all types of products, from food products to tires. It’s a good idea to check periodically to see if your possessions made the list.
It can also be a good idea to check for recalls even before you’ve made the purchase, when safety is your number-one priority—like for vehicles, medications, cribs, or child car seats. You can check to see which products and brands are potentially unsafe. Sometimes, defective products stay on retailer shelves even after a recall is issued—so checking in advance is smart!
What to Do after a Defective Product Injury
There’s only so much you can do to stay safe. Sometimes, you can do everything right and still experience the misfortune of a defective product injury. It might be because a manufacturer or retailer knowingly sold you a faulty product, or maybe there weren’t adequate warnings on the product you used.
When you’ve been injured after using a defective or dangerous product, you have options. You can bring a product liability claim to hold the maker or seller of the product responsible for the harm.
If you have questions, we’re here to help. Call us today to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case.