Steps to Take After a Defective Product Injury

What should I do after a product defect causes me injury?

First and foremost, seek appropriate medical care and get your injuries taken care of.

There are several different types of product liability cases. If you suspect you have been injured as a result of a defective product, what you should do next depends upon what type of product injured you and what type of injury you have suffered.  This article will try to provide you with guidance.  The main types of product liability cases are:

  • Defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  • Defective vehicles and gas-powered machines
  • Defective tools and work equipment
  • Defective consumer goods (non-food)
  • Defective foods

Defective Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

If you are injured due to a defective pharmaceutical or a medical device, you should do some research first off to see if there is already litigation pending for this particular product. Our defective pharmaceutical page is a good place to start for drugs. The products liability drop down menu lists several devices we can assist you with. If you do not see your drug, then it is not one we handle. You may wish to search other sites. If you do not see your medical device, then you should to call us to explore whether your situation is a new one.  Also contact us if it is listed as a medical device we handle.

How to proceed will depend largely on the drug or device. However, some information that will be helpful includes:

  • The name of the drug or device
  • And product numbers you have
  • Who prescribed and/or implanted it
  • Any warnings or other papers you were given with it
  • Dates you first received the drug or device
  • If a drug, the period you were on it
  • If a device, date and place of removal if any

Defective Vehicles, Gas-Powered Machines, Consumer Goods (Non-food) and Tools

While defective vehicles, consumer goods (nonfood) and tools are self-explanatory, the “gas-powered machines” refers to things like forklifts, aerial lifts or other equipment that is self-propelling.  Anytime you are dealing with vehicle defects or drivable machine defects, there is a rule of thumb to keep in mind: It is really difficult to make a product liability case without a product. If it is your vehicle or machine, then do not allow it to be totaled and disposed of. Preserving the vehicle/machine is of absolute importance.  Hire a lawyer and get a restraining order issued if someone else has it in their control.

Second, report the incident where appropriate. If the incident results in a car wreck, report the accident to the police. If it is an on the job injury, file a report of injury with worker’s compensation or any alternative accident or liability insurance your employer has. Please visit those sections for more information.

Third, take photographs of the vehicle/machine and the defective condition. Document the defect so that if the product disappears you have something.

Fourth, gather the things you need to identify and research the product defect. These may include:

  • Serial numbers
  • Make and model numbers
  • Date of manufacture
  • Date of purchase
  • Any documentation hat came with it when you purchased it
  • Vehicle VIN and license plate numbers
  • Any receipts, bills of sale or other purchase documentation
  • Place of purchase

You can check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for recalls online if you want to do your homework, or call an attorney first and let them look into this for you. After you have gathered what you can, call a products liability attorney to discuss your case.

Lastly, report the product defect. The Consumer Product Safety Commission investigates and keeps records of complaints about products. If the product is defective, the more complaints they get, the faster they will investigate it and determine whether a product recall is necessary.

Defective Foods

Everyone is familiar with food poisoning. But what does this mean? But did you know it is contagious? When contaminants get into food, either during the preparation process at a restaurant or during the packaging process for products packed and sold, this can cause a range of illnesses. One of the most common ways food gets contaminated is Salmonella.  The Center for Disease Control estimates that Salmonella is the culprit behind 1.2 million illnesses a year in the United States, leading to 23,000 hosptializations and 450 deaths.

A person with Salmonella is contagious and can spread the disease. If you suspect you have suffered from salmonella poisoning, the first thing you should do (aside from getting appropriate medical care) is to report it to the Center for Disease Control so that a serious outbreak can be prevented if necessary. You have a legal obligation to report this.

Next, if you have the product or some of the product and can seal it in a sealable container, this is a good way to preserve it. Do not continue to consume it nor even handle it more than necessary. Let the CDC have it and conduct testing if they wish.

Lastly, call our product liability lawyers to discuss your options if you have suffered injury that reqired:

  • A hospitalization
  • Substantial medical care
  • A long period of illness, or

Proving a Salmonella contamination case can be very difficult if you do not report it to the CDC or they chose not to investigate. Their investigations may prove your case for you.

If you have any receipts or documentation of where and when you purchased the product, you should save this evidence as well.

Call a Product Liability Lawyer

If you have any questions about this process along the way, just call us at 1-800-298-0111. Product liability cases can be difficult and expensive to prove. Get a free case evaluation today!