How do product recalls impact personal injury claims in New Jersey?

product recall

Manufacturers often issue a recall to protect the public from potential harm when a product has an underlying safety issue or defect. While you may assume that issuing a product recall is akin to the manufacturer’s admission of fault if someone becomes injured due to using the product, that’s not the case. If you’ve been injured because of a product defect, it’s in your best interest to contact a skilled Morris County Personal Injury Attorney who can help you fight for the justice you deserve. Please continue reading to learn how a product recall can impact your claim. 

Why are products recalled?

Products are recalled when a product poses a significant risk to the safety of consumers. They are intended to protect the public. When a manufacturer discovers a defect in a product either on its own or because a regulatory agency, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), brings the defect to light, in most cases, the manufacturer will issue its voluntary recall when defects are brought to its attention.

However, the FDA or CPSC may issue a recall if they do not. The recall process involves informing all distributors and sellers of the products. The entire line of defective merchandise must be removed from the market. The recall will instruct consumers on how to have the product repaired or replaced and warn them of any dangers posed by the defect.

Does a product recall automatically make a manufacturer liable in New Jersey?

If a defective product injures you, you will need substantial evidence to help you prove your claim. With a product liability claim, you must demonstrate the following elements:

  • The product had an underlying defect that made it unreasonably dangerous.
  • You used the product in a manner that any other reasonable individual would have used the product.
  • The defect was the direct cause of your injuries and damages.

If the defective product was recalled, it could significantly impact your ability to recover monetary compensation for your incurred damages. While recalls can be presented as evidence, they don’t automatically establish a manufacturer’s liability. A recall is not sufficient evidence to prove a manufacturer’s liability. However, it can help show that the kind of defect they allege existed when they were injured. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the manufacturer is off the hook.

A recall will not relieve them from liability. However, they can use the recall as a defense to product liability claims by arguing that they issued a recall notice, alerting the public of the risks of using the product. Yet, the injured party continued to use the defective product. Ultimately, issuing a recall notice doesn’t absolve them of liability. Injured parties must prove all of the elements of the product liability claim.

As you can see, proving a product liability claim can be difficult. To maximize your chances of establishing a manufacturer’s liability, it’s in your best interest to retain the legal services of an adept attorney from the legal team at Lutz Injury Law. Our firm is prepared to protect your rights and represent your interests.

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