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What can you do if a defective product hurts you or a loved one?

The content on this site is informational and does not create an attorney-client relationship or offer legal or medical advice. Every situation is different.

You interact with numerous products every day. You wake up on your mattress, use multiple cosmetic products, get dressed, make coffee, heat oatmeal and commute to work in a car. You could easily use over a dozen different products just getting ready for your day.

You likely purchased all of these items with the expectation that they meet specific standards and perform their intended job. That is what most products do, but some products are simply defective. They don't stand up to the standard use for which they were designed. They may break or malfunction in a way that causes injury, property damage or even death.

Anything from a toy that could create a choking hazard for a baby to defective air bags on a vehicle can have catastrophic consequences for consumers. When that happens, consumers often have to take action to protect themselves and others.

Companies must do adequate research and maintain product standards

In order to protect themselves from liability and to keep the public safe, companies should substantially research any new product that they bring to market. From testing different chemical components to examining how long-term wear will affect the durability of the materials, every possible risk factor should be considered and tested.

Unfortunately, many companies choose to cut corners and rush products to market. They may do this to profit off of seasonal demand or to beat a competitor. Regardless of the motivation, companies that rush development or fail to maintain rigorous standards for production testing could find themselves putting out products that don't work.

Even worse, sometimes those products could hurt consumers. In the situation where a defective product ends up causing injury, death or property damage, those affected by the defective product may be able to hold the company responsible for the damages.

Consumers can bring lawsuits against companies with defective products

Whether there's a dangerous component in your engine that resulted in a crash or faulty wiring in an electronic toy that you purchased, defective products can cause major injuries and unpredictable accidents.

The individuals who get hurt by bad products have the legal right to hold the company and sometimes even the retailer who sold the product responsible for those damages. Discussing the specifics of your situation with a personal injury attorney is a smart first step. Your lawyer can help you determine what legal action you can take and who is likely responsible for those damages.

Only by holding companies accountable for poorly designed or tested products can consumers remove the incentive to cut corners in production and development.

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