A defective product can wreak havoc on your life, and even have catastrophic effects. When manufacturers get evidence that a product is potentially harmful, they routinely send recall notices to customers in an effort to reduce their liability. Such notices don’t eliminate liability entirely, and you may have a case against a manufacturer who injured you even if you receive a recall notice.
Timely Receipt of the Notice
If you’ve already been injured by a product when you receive a recall notice, the recall notice may not alleviate liability. Courts evaluate whether a recall notice was sent early enough to protect customers, because companies sometimes ignore a product problem for months or even years before taking action. If the evidence shows that a company knew of a problem well before the recall notice was sent, the company will likely still be liable.
Adequate and Accurate Information
It’s not enough for a company to tell you a product is being recalled. The company needs to give you accurate information about the recall. A car manufacturer that tells customers the seat belt warning light is broken, for example, will still be liable if the real problem was with the car’s engine or tires.
The recall notice must give you sufficient information to remedy the problem, and must list all issues. Recall notices won’t protect a manufacturer if you’re injured by a different problem from the one listed in the notice or if you can show the manufacturer knew about the safety issue at the time of manufacture or well before the notice was sent.
There may be other situations in which a manufacturer is liable even though they send a recall notice, and a skilled lawyer can help you evaluate whether one of these scenarios applies to you. For example, if the manufacturer offers to fix the item but creates a new problem or does an inadequate job of remedying the issue, the company will likely still be liable.
No matter what the recall notice says or doesn’t say, you’re obligated to take reasonable steps to protect yourself. At trial, your own behavior may become an issue. If you don’t get a recalled car fixed or you knowingly eat recalled food, this could alleviate some or all of the manufacturer’s liability. Even more important is the fact that using a recalled product can endanger your well-being.
If you’ve been injured by a faulty product and aren’t sure what to do, you need to seek the assistance of an expert. The wrong actions can undermine or even destroy your case, and acting quickly can be vital for getting the best results. If you have questions about a recall notice you have received or you feel the manufacturer has been negligent in your case, contact one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at McDivitt Law Firm for a FREE consultation.