MAUI TRAGEDY: For over 40 years, Davis Levin Livingston has represented our friends and neighbors on all the islands and they will be there for you in this hour of tragedy. Click here for more information.

Skip to Content

Defective Products Liability and Consumer Rights


When you purchase an item from the store, you are considered a consumer of that particular item. Although consumer protection laws and consumer rights may seem complicated, they are designed to help you when unexpected situations arise. After purchasing a product, you may discover that it is not working as advertised. In some cases, you or a member of your family may be injured due to the defect. Whether you are injured or not, you have rights that are designed to protect your interests as a consumer.

Repairs and Returns

The discovery of a defect in a product does not necessarily mean that you or a family member will be injured from that problem. A defect describes any problem with the product that was not caused by your actions, such as a shirt that is missing a button or a toy that does not work as advertised.

If you are not injured by the defect, then you may have options that can help. Depending on the item that you purchased, you may be able to ask for a repair or you may return the product.

Depending on the situation, repairs may be handled by the manufacturer or the store where you purchased the item. A warranty on the product can help determine if the manufacturer will fix the defect or if it is the responsibility of the store.

The ability to return a product may depend on different factors. You may be able to return items to the store if it is still within the store’s return policy. Every store has a different policy and certain objects may have a shorter time limit, such as video games or electronics.

Facing an Injury

While you may have clear solutions when the defect is minor, some products may cause injuries. If you or a family member is injured by the defect in the product, then you may have a personal injury claim. In some cases, the manufacturer or the store may offer a settlement if an injury occurs. Other situations may require the assistance of an attorney.

The key factors that can help determine if a lawyer is necessary for your situation to include:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The particular defect
  • Whether the object has been recalled prior to the injury
  • The settlement that you were offered

You may decide to seek the assistance of a lawyer if you are facing high medical bills, your injuries were significant or you were offered a settlement that you feel is too low based on the cost of medical bills and your expectations for future medical expenses. An attorney can also explain your rights as a consumer so that you can determine if you have a case.

When you buy a product from the store, you do not expect that it will have problems. Although defects may occur, many of the problems will not cause injuries. When a defect causes an injury, it may be appropriate to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer.