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How to Protect Yourself From Becoming a Victim of Product Liability

We invest in products and services almost every day, but do we purchase them wisely and safely? Through the years, there have been numerous reported product liability cases involving children’s products and poisoning, Carbon Monoxide poisonings, fires, electrocutions, hazard screening, fireworks, submersion, and sports and recreation. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC, about 8000 product-related deaths and about 380,000 product-related injuries are reported and reviewed each year.

To avoid becoming a victim of product liability, here are some simple ways to ensure that the products and services you are purchasing will not cause you any inconvenience:

o The Company and The Product’s Reputation

We invest in products and services almost every day, but do we purchase them wisely and safely? Through the years, there have been numerous reported product liability cases involving children's products and poisoning, Carbon Monoxide poisonings, fires, electrocutions, hazard screening, fireworks, submersion, and sports and recreation. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC, about 8000 product-related deaths and about 380,000 product-related injuries are reported and reviewed each year.

It is always wise to do some research about the company and their products before you decide to do business with them. You can go online and find honest reviews in forums and websites about different companies and products submitted by other consumers who have purchased similar products and services. Educating yourself about the product and services will help you avoid inconveniences such as injuries and wasting money.

o Secure All Warranties and Agreements in Writing

 

There is nothing better than to have all business transactions, agreements and warranties in writing. This will help save you all the trouble in terms of returns, exchange and repairs. Though you may have come to an oral agreement with a salesperson, it is better to have him or her put everything discussed in writing, including the warranty being offered.

o Read the Fine Print

Most products and their ads will have fine print and these must not be ignored. There are times when we become so eager to buy the product or secure the service that we end up paying first before reading the fine print. There are also products that do not have fine print or have misleading information, so you should do some research on them or opt for similar products that have proper labeling and fine print.

o Check the Products and Services Provided Before Paying

Consumers must learn to inspect the products and services provided before paying for them to make sure that they are in good working condition. Sometimes their defects are discovered too late and if the defects are severe, they can lead to injuries and even death. This is why you should have some knowledge about the products and services you are investing in or have a friend who has knowledge or experience in the product and services, accompany you. If the defects are detected later on, but have not caused you any harm, you must make sure that the agreement or warranty offered covers for repairs or returns.

What Happens If You Become a Victim of Product Liability?

In the event that you become a victim of product liability, the manufacturing chain shall be held responsible for your injuries. This chain includes the manufacturer, designer, assembler, wholesaler, retailer and distributor. However, if the company refuses to fix the problem or to resolve the matter with you then the best way to handle this is by consulting with a product liability attorney. Product liability cases are categorized into: o Strict Liability o Breach of Warranty o Negligence A product liability case is very complicated and it can take months and even years, but it is only justified that you file a case against the liable party that caused you inconvenience or even injuries so that they may compensate you for all the expenses incurred. However, in order to avoid becoming a product liability victim, the best thing you can do is to follow the tips provided, when purchasing any products and services.

About the Author : Valerie Jones is a Freelance writer specializing in product liability and personal injury claims. She regularly contributes articles relating to personal injury for BobCohenLaw.com.

14 comments

  1. I totally agree with your post. I love shopping online and I have also been disappointed with the products I bought. I learned my lesson the hard way. But that didn’t stop me from buying online, instead, it made me really vigilant and careful. The fine prints are really important. Sometimes, it has the most significant information which buyers really have to know before they key in their credit card or paypal info for the payment. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. This is a good reminder especially when purchasing unbranded products because consumers will not really know who will be responsible for any possible damage that may be brought by the product itself aside from the retailer or the dealer of the item.

    Most cheap products, especially the low quality MIC electronics and appliances, come with no warranty and assurance so be a wise shopper.

  3. This is such a good advice for the consumers, not only giving tips but also providing examples of what will happen if the consumer becomes a victim. Thank you so much to Valerie Jones for sharing her expertise in her field. Congratulations Juan for this wonderful site.

  4. More often, it is still better to spend extra dollars for little bit expensive yet reputable products than to try to save from buying items which you actually do not know what injury it will give you later.

    Let use also put into consideration that branded products are expensive because of the quality and assurance and other legalities connected into it just like what is being mentioned on the post, not just because of the brand name.

  5. nice consumer info juan!

  6. good read. full pack of must-know info. thanks for writing up a post like this. :)

  7. warranties are often ignored and forgotten.For my kids toys ,i make sure to read the print first for my childs safety.

  8. Thanks for the info…it’s helpful especially to moms…hope mothers would read this to be aware of what they buy for their kids…

  9. no return no exchange. Actually this policy were abolished long time ago to protect consumer. Apparently shops tend to ignore this.

  10. research, research and more research..

  11. Before I purchase items, I securely check the expiration and the country they’re from. :)

  12. This is a good article on how one becomes victim of faulty products and how one can avoid it. In recent years many multinational companies are out sourcing their manufacturing to third world countries like China where manufacturing standards and product quality standards are quite low. It is true that it has helped to bring down the prices of products significantly by mass producing allowing lower strata of society to enjoy products which were once affordable to only rich and famous but it has also raised the risk becoming victim of faulty products. The last point discussed is very important that once you become a victim you need to contact an expert who can deal with such cases and helps you in getting the compensation for your damages. But it is always good that before buying any product you go through independent product reviews and buy products of reputed companies only. It may be a bit costly but in the long run it will prove economical and worthy.

  13. This is great, but how does an intermediary business avoid liability?

    For example, if I own a shop similar to amazon.com where others can post products for sale (or a shop with rented out sub shops) and they have a dispute with their customers, or fail to deliver the goods, apart from banning them, how do I protect my business or shop from being sued or jointly sued by the end customer?

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