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Will a product recall prevent you from bringing a civil suit?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | Personal Injury

When you spot an interesting new product at the store, you expect that it does what it claims on its packaging and that it is generally safe for consumers when used appropriately. Unfortunately, many manufacturers are more interested in turning a profit than they are on producing something truly reliable or even safe.

Product recalls happen all the time, for issues ranging from contaminated medications to mechanical defects in safety products installed in motor vehicles. There are consumer safety laws that protect you from defective products. One of the most important rules is the ability of a consumer harmed by a defective product to file a civil lawsuit against the manufacturer who produced the product or sometimes even a retailer who sold it.

Does a recall of the product prevent you from bringing a liability claim against the business that produced a product that hurt you or caused massive property damage?

Recalls do not absolve manufacturers of liability

If all a manufacturer had to do to avoid financial culpability for a poorly-designed or improperly manufactured product was to initiate an official recall, consumers would lose their rights as soon as someone else got hurt by the same product. Companies should invest in proper testing and quality control to protect the people buying their products.

When a manufacturer initiates a recall or when consumer safety agencies announce a recall without the support of the manufacturer, that serves as an opportunity for consumers to get rid of defective products or obtain the necessary repairs to make the product safe. However, the manufacturer still has to notify the consumers and arrange to replace or fix the defective products.

If the manufacturer who created the product that injured you failed to notify you of the recall or if they sent you a letter about the recall but took weeks in arranging the practical aspects of returning or fixing the product, they may still have liability when people get hurt. If you can show that you were not aware of the recall or that the manufacturer didn’t take adequate steps to correct the issue with your product in time, the business may still be liable for your property damage and injury-related losses.

How do you get compensation after a product hurts you?

Whether the wiring in a product shorts out and causes a fire in your house or a vehicle component fails and you break your leg in the resulting crash, you can bring a claim directly against the manufacturer in many cases. You can potentially receive reimbursement from their product liability insurance policy. Other times, you may need to file a lawsuit, possibly one coordinated with other people hurt by the same defective product.

Learning about the rules that apply to defective product claims can help you seek Justice when hurt by a consumer product.