Many people enjoy visiting a garage sale or thrift store in order to find unique products or save money on what they need. These used items could have a defect that could cause you to become injured, so you need to know what to do if this happens.
Taking Action When You’re Injured While Using a Secondhand Item
Buying secondhand is a way to save money, reduce resource consumption, and find unique items. Unfortunately, some items that are sold secondhand are defective and could cause you to become injured. If you are injured by a secondhand item, a consultation with injury lawyers could help you understand your rights.
Check Consumer Safety Databases
If you have a smartphone, check consumer safety databases while shopping for secondhand items. This could save you the trouble of buying an item that has a known defect or that has been under a manufacturer’s recall. If this is not an option, check the item at home before you use it. If the item does not have a serial number, search by make and model or description. A thrift shop or garage sale purveyor might be held liable if they are knowingly selling something that is defective.
Look for Signage at the Store
Some secondhand stores and garage sale operators will hang a sign that warns of potential dangers of used items. For example, in the kids’ toys section, some stores will post signage that the toys are designed for kids age 12 and older. This is designed to help reduce their liability. Your attorney can explain whether this absolves them of responsibility or if the store or garage sale operator is still liable for your injury.
Contact the Manufacturer and Seek Legal Counsel
If possible, contact the manufacturer of the product that injured you. The United States Consumer Product Safety Council also accepts reports of injuries caused by defective items. In some cases, product warranties do not apply for secondhand items or do not transfer past the person who first purchased the product. An attorney can advise you of your rights after you sustain an injury.