COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone and e-mail.

What To Do If You're Injured by A Defective Product

Patrick C. Barry

Bad products inflict serious injuries, even deaths, upon American consumers every day. Whether it is a faulty ignition switch in a car, a defective medical product like a joint implant, or a poorly manufactured household item, the law provides ways to hold manufacturers and sellers accountable. As in any personal injury case, however, you should try to take some immediate steps if you are injured by a consumer product.

First, if you are injured, be sure to get medical attention. Also, be sure to secure the product in a way that prevents anyone else from using it and getting hurt. Safety should always be the first concern.

Second, be sure to document what occurred, and how, as soon as possible. Ask a friend or family member, if necessary, to help take pictures or gain access to the offending product. Never throw it out, nor allow anyone else to remove it to an unknown location. For instance, in a case involving a crash of a defective vehicle, the vehicle itself might be taken to a junkyard or to an insurance appraiser. Make sure you know where it is going, and that it will be stored in a responsible manner.

You should also gather any paperwork you may have regarding the product and its purchase. Receipts, product warnings, user manuals and the like may all be very important if you want to pursue legal action. Document your history with the product, including where and how it was obtained, when, and how it has been stored or used over time. It is generally necessary to show that the product (or at least the relevant components of the product), was in substantially the same condition as it was in when it was sold.

You should also consider contacting an attorney right away. This might help develop and secure valuable evidence, such as the product itself and any witnesses that might exist. If you wish to proceed against the manufacturer or seller, you will need an attorney anyway. “Product liability cases,” as they are commonly called, are complex and challenging. You need skilled and experienced representation to pursue a corporate manufacturer or seller of a dangerous product.

If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, of any type, contact the trial lawyers at Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn in Providence, Rhode Island.