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Product Liability Rights for Online Shoppers

When you want to try a new electronic or other product, buying online can be quick, easy and cheap. But what if something goes wrong and the product’s poor design or faulty structure causes an accident? If you bought a product that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled, the recall notice will include information on reparations.  If it is a product that you purchased from abroad, your options might not be so clear cut. Although the Hague Convention has established regulations regarding international product liability, international law is convoluted and challenging. Therefore, for your own safety, think about it before you buy.

Know where you shop

If you are worried about a product’s safety, buying from a legitimate organization and not a stranger on an unknown website may provide you with a layer of protection. Even when you buy via an auction service such as eBay or through a large internet “store” such as Amazon, the fact that these are entities with corporate offices in the U.S. gives you an edge should a product be dangerous and cause an injury. Just having a physical presence in the U.S. provides the possibility to obtain compensation for injuries. An unknown entity from abroad makes international lawsuits challenging, even in countries like India who have product liability laws.

Before you buy, check the batteries

Many newer products have updated their power sources from nickel-cadmium batteries to lithium-based batteries. Yet nickel-based batteries and lithium-based batteries have exploded or had recalls. Burning laptops have caused airlines to evacuate passengers and can be a hazard at home.  Cell phone owners should be watchful of battery fires as well.

Who is the importer? You are!

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) when you buy online and ship to your home or business, you become the importer, subject to following U.S. regulations.

When things go wrong — a local resource

Whether you have purchased an item from your local electronics box store or from an unknown source, if you have been injured, contact a Florida injury lawyer to discuss your options for compensation. For more than 25 years Gillette Law, P.A. has been advocating for victims of product-related injuries.

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