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.