Capitalism gives anyone with an idea the opportunity to turn that idea into a product or service and thereby an income stream. Unfortunately, not all products are as safe as the people who designed them might imagine. Other times, companies can have lax testing and safety requirements in the design or manufacture stages that leave consumers vulnerable to product failure and injuries.
Whether you are buying a crib, a car or a package of meat at the grocery store, as a consumer, you want to believe that you can trust that it is safe. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans wind up hurt every year because of dangerous or defective products.
Recalls can sometimes alert consumers to potentially dangerous products, but manufacturers don’t always recall dangerous items, even if they know the risk it poses. Regardless of whether a product is part of a recall, you have rights as a consumer if you purchase and wind up hurt by a defective product.
Production mistakes and quality standards often play a role
Bad design can be an issue with some products. Hoverboards, for example, were incredibly popular but many were prone to overheating, which could result in dangerous fires, in some cases. Design flaws in safety equipment, like airbags, could leave consumers vulnerable to tragic consequences. However, defects aren’t always due to an issue with the design of the product.
Sometimes, a product that would otherwise be safe is rendered dangerous by flaws in the manufacturing process. Quality assurance and safety testing can limit these defects and the risks that they pose to consumers, but only so far as manufacturers are willing to invest in adequate safety procedures and testing.
Some companies will only test one unit out of an entire manufacturing lot, leaving other units vulnerable to failure. Still other companies don’t even perform individual safety testing on products. That could mean that a consumer receives a product that, because it was improperly manufactured, poses an unnecessary risk to them or their loved ones. People can wind up injured or even killed if defective products reach store shelves.
Injured consumers and their family members have legal rights in West Virginia
Defective products can leave you injured, permanently disfigured or grieving the death of a loved one. From meat or flour contaminated with dangerous bacteria, to furniture with faulty welding or screws that break under pressure, there are many defective products that can endanger the people who buy them.
Regardless of the exact circumstances and your situation, it may be possible to take action against either a retailer or a manufacturer if defective products hurt you or someone you love. Educating yourself about your rights as a consumer in the United States can make it easier to take action after an issue with a defective product.