When you purchase gifts for loved ones during the holiday season, you expect them to be safe, regardless if they are a toy, household product, clothing or other consumer item.
Sadly, a small fraction of the products available for sale in the United States will be unsafe for consumers. People often purchase items that end up recalled later. Even popular toys sometimes face recalls.
What causes product recalls?
Some products are defective because of a bad design. Sometimes, companies don’t thoroughly test the products and they end up failing when consumers use them due to an original design. Other times, there may be manufacturing defects, such as contamination that gets into chocolate or other consumer product during production.
What happens if someone gets hurt because of a recalled item you purchased for them for the holidays?
The manufacturer may be responsible
Typically, manufacturers need to test their products for safety and focus on quality control if they want to avoid liability for defective products. Many businesses also carry special insurance if they produce items for public consumption. They typically also need to react quickly when they start receiving reports of products failing, especially if people end up injured.
A recall might involve sending direct notifications to consumers when possible. It may also involve cooperating with federal regulatory agencies and sending notice to retailers. If you did not receive timely notice of the recall or if the recall began after you already suffered an injury or property damage loss, then you may be in a position to pursue a defective product claim against the company.
How defective product claims work
When someone can show that a product failed and caused financial losses, they could file an insurance claim in some cases or a civil lawsuit in others. Such claims are often complex, as businesses typically do not want to lose the revenue generated from selling defective products, let alone compensate people for the damage their products cause.
Those hurt by defective products often require support during the claims process so that they understand their rights and don’t fall victim to manipulative or aggressive negotiation tactics. Knowing your rights after you get hurt by a defective product can help you hold the appropriate party responsible.