The US Consumer Protection Agency recommends that you start by contacting the company that made the product. Hopefully, you still have the product packaging, but if not, a careful study of the item should yield a manufacturer’s name in most cases. Once you know who makes the product, you can usually contact them online or call the company.
If the product is defective in a way that’s merely annoying or disappointing, complaining to the manufacturer may be sufficient. In many cases, the company will offer you a refund or replace the product. But what if the product is more than a nuisance? What if it’s defective in a way that could harm others or that already caused injury to you or someone you love? In this situation, trusting the company to do the right thing and address the problem may be a mistake, even if you get a refund. Instead, you should also report the problem to the appropriate government agency.
Where to Report Defective Products
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent place to start for most products, with an online complaint form that walks you through the steps of beginning a complaint. Depending on the nature of the product and the problem, you may also want to inform other government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration or FDA (for defective food or medication products), the Federal Trade Commission or FTC (for situations where you believe the company has committed fraud or scammed consumers), and the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC (for financial crimes or issues involving investments).
How to Document Your Complaint
Before you begin reporting a defective product, it’s helpful to prepare by documenting the problem. Take pictures of the product, particularly any visible areas that show the problem. Video documentation can also be helpful, especially if the problem is only apparent when the product is used. However, you should exercise caution – don’t use a product you believe to be dangerous to show how dangerous it is!
Sometimes comparisons can be beneficial, especially if it’s a product you regularly buy that usually works well. You can sometimes show the two items side by side to clarify the difference.
If you’ve suffered injuries from the product, take pictures of these, get prompt medical treatment, and ask for copies of your medical records.
Additionally, the manufacturer will want information from the packaging to determine what lot or batch it came from. If you’ve already thrown away the outside packaging, look over the item – some products also have this information on the product itself. For example, you may have disposed of the cardboard box a bottle of vitamins came in, but the bottle itself might have the lot and batch number in case of consumer difficulties. Electronics manufacturers often list the month and year an item was produced somewhere inside the item, but you should be careful and follow the manufacturer’s instructions about opening the case.
If you don’t have the packaging and can’t find any indication of how, when, or where it was produced, try to get a copy of your receipt. Many retailers can pull up a copy of a recent receipt using the credit or debit card used for the purchase or other information about the sale. You may need to visit the store in person with some companies, while others can pull up your receipt remotely. If efforts to locate a copy of your receipt are unsuccessful, simply write down the name of the store you bought it at, the store’s location (you can find the exact address online), and your best estimate of when the purchase was made.
After you’ve documented the problem as thoroughly as possible, visit the website of the appropriate government agencies and begin your complaint, uploading pictures and other information as needed. Hang onto the defective product in case you need it later.
What If You Suffered Injuries from a Defective Product?
Taking steps to secure government oversight for a defective product is crucial, and your report may eventually lead to a recall or other action to ensure the manufacturer handles the problem. However, what if you or a loved one have suffered losses beyond the money you spent on the product? You could have medical bills, permanent scarring or disability, physical and mental pain and suffering, property damage, or, in the worst-case scenario, you may have lost a loved one to this defective product.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Defective Product Damages
Can you rely on the company to compensate you if they seem apologetic and offer to cover your expenses? No. The company representative likely wants to minimize exposure by paying you a small sum that may not take care of all your damages. If you’ve received such an offer, take it to a Georgia defective products lawyer for a review before you sign anything. In many cases, we find that the injured person’s damages are worth far more than the company is offering.
In other situations, the company may not offer you anything. They might promise to look into your complaint and do nothing. Even if the governmental agencies you complained to step in and force a recall or other steps to improve consumer safety, this won’t change the defective product’s effect on your life. You deserve compensation for all your damages:
Medical costs. Even with health insurance, you may have expensive copays for emergency room visits, tests, surgery, other treatments, prescriptions, follow-up visits, and physical therapy. People with severe injuries may need continued care, with medical costs potentially extending indefinitely into the future. Your attorney will work to ensure you receive a settlement that covers current and future medical expenses.
Lost income or earning potential. If a defective product caused injuries that left you unable to work, you should be compensated for the lost time, even if you had paid sick days (because you had to use them for your injuries). Additionally, if your injuries prevent you from returning to work or doing the same kind or amount of work in the future, you may have a claim for lost earning potential.
Permanent disability or disfigurement. Any permanent disability or effects on your health and well-being should be considered when calculating damages.
Pain and suffering. A defective product can leave you with physical pain and emotional or mental distress, and you deserve compensation for both.
Property damage. If the defective product damaged any property, such as your home, car, electronics, etc., you should be reimbursed for repair or replacement costs.
Wrongful death. When a defective product leads to a loss of life, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, parents, or estate executor can file a wrongful death claim. This includes damages such as loss of consortium or companionship and loss of financial support from the deceased.
How Can the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm Help with a Defective Product Claim?
Many people have questions after being injured by a potentially defective product. They may be unsure if the product was defective or if they simply had bad luck. Common questions include:
Was the accident a fluke, or did the manufacturer create a dangerous product?
Was the manufacturer aware of the dangers?
Have other people been affected?
Is there enough evidence to pursue a lawsuit against the manufacturer?
Attempting to find the answers on your own can be confusing, but you deserve to know your options. At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we’re always available for a free consultation about your case. If there is a way to secure compensation for your injuries through a lawsuit or insurance claim, we’ll find it and discuss the options with you. Your initial consultation is free, and if we take your case, there are no upfront costs – you don’t owe us anything until we win or settle your claim.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.