It is a nightmare scenario for any parent: Your child is seriously injured or even killed by a dangerous product that you didn’t realize had been recalled. Yet this is precisely what happens to too many families in the United States. Manufacturers of cribs, walkers, car seats, and other “durable” baby goods have earned a notorious reputation for developing and selling products that contain critical flaws.
Even if you don’t have young children, you or someone you care about could be seriously harmed by a dangerous and defective product subject to a recall. For this reason, it is highly important to ensure that you remain aware of product recalls and respond to them promptly when they are related to safety matters.
What Are Your Informational Resources?
Whenever you buy a high-ticket item (or reasonably priced item that is meant to last several years), you have the option of registering your purchase with the manufacturer. The box may contain a card that you can fill out and mail in, or you can register online.
Most of us skip this step, likely assuming the company will just try to send more promotional mail. Registering your product is important, though, because it allows the manufacturer to contact you if a recall is issued. So if the item you purchased could impact your family’s safety in any way, taking the time to register it is a wise move.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is another important resource. In fact, the CPSC often raises the initial alarms about unsafe consumer products. You can search the commission’s website (www.cpsc.gov) to see if any of your major household items have been recalled (particularly baby gear).
If your car has been recalled, you may receive direct notification from the manufacturer or dealership if your vehicle is registered in a certain way. If you bought the vehicle used directly from the previous owner or a broker, chances are you won’t get these notifications. If you want to check on auto recalls, one of the best places to do that is the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (www.nhtsa.gov/recalls).
Taking the Advice of a Recall Notice
When you become aware that something you own has been recalled, take a couple minutes to learn why the recall was issued and how serious it is. If you are warned to stop using a product immediately, stop using it — especially if it is a baby product. Literally tens of thousands of young children are sent to the emergency room each year due to injuries from defective baby products like cribs and carriers. On average, these dangerous products kill 88 kids annually. No product is worth that kind of risk.
What If You’ve Already Been Injured?
Consumers who find out about dangerous products before they cause a problem are lucky. But if you’ve already been injured, you do have legal options. An experienced lawyer, like a product liability lawyer from David & Philpot, P.L., will be able to help you seek compensation for injuries (and worse) caused by dangerous and defective products.