Customers trust manufacturers and retailers to build and deliver products that are safe for consumer use, and most of the time, they are.
However, despite the safety regulations and testing, hundreds of defective and dangerous goods still slip through the cracks and into the store shelves and eventually our homes without even knowing it until someone has been injured severely.
A defective or poorly designed product can cause serious injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. It’s essential to know the rights steps to take immediately following an accident caused by a defective product as it can immensely affect a product liability case that you might file in the future.
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Here are five steps you need to take if you or your loved one has been injured by a defective product:
1. Seek Medical Care
Nothing is more essential than your health or the health of a loved one. As with any accident, the main priority following an incident involving any defective product is bringing the injured to the doctor or an emergency room as soon as possible for treatment.
Any medical evaluation should not be delayed as this would cause your injuries to worsen. These medical records will also be necessary for building your case.
Any lack of documents might lead to a liability dispute since the opposing party could dispute your claim that the injuries were caused by the defective product or they could argue that postponing medical care contributed to their severity.
2. Gather and Preserve Evidence
In addition to any medical records, be sure to keep documentation of the product associated with your injury. Since the foundation to any successful case is the evidence, the amount of evidence that you have determines the time that your claim gets resolved.
This is why keeping the faulty or defective product is the most important thing you can do if the injury it caused was due to a manufacturing error. It can serve as crucial evidence that will be needed to prove liability.
Store the item that caused your injuries somewhere safe, but do not tamper with it in any way. Make sure to take photos of the product that caused the accident and the scene as well.
If there are any witnesses of the incident, write down their contact information. You should also include your recollection of the event as well as what you were doing right before it happened.
It would also be helpful to save any documentation regarding its purchase and use to provide information about the defective product.
Any evidence such as the wrapping, instruction manuals, or packaging that the product came with, as well as proof of purchase receipts, can go a long way to proving liability.
Depending on the product that causes the injury additional document can be helpful. Injuries from a defective medical device, for instance, include relevant records or the actual prescription. Meanwhile, the essential documents from defective tools and materials include any paperwork detailing the product’s warranties.
3. Document the Healing Process
A journal would help document your healing process. The information in the journal can be beneficial in preparing a pain and suffering claim for your injury.
Take detailed notes about the pain level, your emotions, the psychological effects of your injury, how it impacts your daily activities and family relations, and any other information related to your recovery.
The records should also include photographs of all visible wounds and their progression as it heals.
4. Stay Off Social Media
A majority of adult Americans are active on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. As these sites are accessible via smartphone, it only takes a few seconds to share our lives with the world, and nothing can be more tempting than sharing a big story like an accident with your family and friends.
Receiving support from your loved ones is essential. However, discussing your injury or the accident online may be one of the biggest mistakes you can make. There are just certain things that should not be shared online.
If you decide to file a product liability lawsuit, any posts on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms will be accessed by the other party. The information you post online can be used negatively during the trial.
One of the worst photos you can share after an accident is a photo in which you appear happy and healthy, even if it’s an older photo.
These photos can be used as evidence by the insurance companies and opposing legal representatives to prove that the nature of your injuries are not as bad as you claim.
The words on the description can also be twisted to use against you, which can significantly affect the outcome of your case.
As absurd as it may seem, plenty of professionals in the justice system do not understand the timelines of social media, any photos you posted recently will be assumed to be taken recently.
5. Contact an Attorney
The law surrounding product liability cases can be complicated and may involve multiple parties and federal law. It is essential to consult with an attorney who can understand product liability law and has the necessary resources at their disposal to investigate a defective product injury.
Product liability cases have time limitation, so the sooner an attorney is contacted, the faster they can get to work investigating your injuries and the defective product that caused it.
After you have addressed any immediate injuries, contact a product liability lawyer.
This will help to decrease the chances of valuable evidence disappearing and increase the likelihood you may have of recovering full compensation for all the pain and suffering you’ve endured.
Get Help with Your Defective Product Claim
If you have been injured by a faulty product, our skilled attorneys from The Brown Firm can be consulted for any legal advice and help you get the compensation you deserve. Visit our website or contact us at (912) 200-9755 for a Free Consultation to discuss the nature of your case.