I Got a Defective Gift – What Should I Do?

Posted on January 3, 2018 in Consumer Safety

We’ve all gone through the dreaded experience of getting a gift that doesn’t work. But it’s even worse when the product is defective and poses a risk to our safety.

If you received a defective product as a gift, what should you do?

Check All Your Gifts

For starters, before you even try to use your gift for the first time, you should check to see if it’s been recalled.

Every year, thousands of products are recalled. From March 2016 to March 2017, for example, there were 5,095 recalls issued. All pose a very real safety risk. For example, 1,562 products had a fire or fire-related risk. Another 837 products posed a choking hazard. And 392 products could electrocute a person.

The risk is so great that we don’t recommend using a product unless you’ve checked to see if it’s been recalled. You can find product recalls on the official federal government website Recalls.gov. Perform a search for each gift just to make sure.

If you don’t, you could wind up suffering from a tragedy. And considering only about 10 percent of all recall notices are actually heeded by consumers, the risk is real.

Document Everything

This next step comes into play if someone was injured as a result of the product.

Document everything. Find out where the product was purchased, how the product was used, the condition of the product when you received it, the nature and extent of the injuries, and any treatment that may have been received as a result of the injury.

Don’t throw away the original packaging, either. And make sure you talk to people who may have witnessed the product being used and the injury in case you decide to pursue action.

Documentation turns into evidence if you decide to take action later, so be diligent.

Keep the Product and Report It

If the product didn’t result in an injury, you can return the product to the place it was purchased. Or, if it’s subject to a recall, you can find directions from the manufacturer about how to return it to them.

If the product did result in an injury, keep it. Don’t throw it away or return it. It’ll come in handy later if you go the legal route to get compensation for your defective product injury.

Either way, report the defective product by filing a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission by visiting their online portal here.

Talk to a Defective Products Attorney

If you or someone you know was hurt, you may want to seek compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering.

The next step, then, is to talk to a defective products attorney, also known as a products liability attorney. These lawyers specialize in handling cases against manufacturers, retailers, and other responsible parties and getting compensation and justice for victims.

A lawyer can talk to you about your case – for free – and tell you more about your prospects and what you can reasonably expect. Pursuing action can be a long process, and you’ll want a good, experienced lawyer by your side.

If you or someone you know received a gift that turned out to be defective, and someone was injured as a result of using the gift, then you may have a case. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll help bring about a favorable outcome.