Some people are natural born complainers. Like this one from Middle Class Problems on Twitter: “A pecan from my maple and pecan slice has tragically fallen into my fresh coffee. Worst day ever.” (If you have never checked out Middle Class Problems, you should.) But some of us are loathe to complain. We do not want to be perceived as demanding, obnoxious, whiny, needy, etc. Or, we don’t complain because we think it will not do any good. But from my perspective as a personal injury lawyer, there are times when it is critical to complain. Below are 5 times you should complain freely and without hesitation.
- If you believe there is something defective about a product you own or have used, complain to both the manufacturer and the appropriate government agency. Many government watchdog groups like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission rely heavily on customer complaints to identify a defect trend in a product. While the manufacturers are legally obligated to self-report problems, we know that they don’t — just look at the General Motors ignition switch defect scandal, the listeria contamination with Blue Bell ice cream, etc. The more people that complain about a problem, the more likely it will come to the attention of regulators and others who can do something about it.
- If you believe you or a loved one is receiving inadequate patient care from a medical provider, voice your concerns. Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in this country – only cancer and heart disease top it. So speak up if something is not right. Calmly and politely take your complaints up the chain of command until you get the response you need to protect yourself or your family member.
- If you see a commercial vehicle driving in an unsafe way (texting and driving, speeding, etc.), call the company about it immediately. Try to get the license plate number or the vehicle number, but even if you do not have this information the company may be able to determine who was driving based on time and location. Until they have an accident, management often does not know how their employees are driving. So, pick up the phone and let them know their driver is putting the rest of us at risk.
- If you see a situation that is dangerous for children, please be their advocate and complain. This one can cover so many things including child or sex abuse, an unsafe condition on the playground, a teacher who fails to enforce the school’s food allergy protocols, etc.
- If you see an unsafe condition at a public location, complain to management. For example, a spill or leak on the floor that could present a fall hazard. Most companies will do the right thing and address these problems once they learn of them. And, if they do not, then quite frankly they get what they deserve when they are sued for the harm they caused.
So if a pecan from your pie falls into your coffee, deal with it. But if complaining can make things safer for you, your loved ones or the public at large, speak up in a polite and calm manner until you get an appropriate response.
And, as always, if you would like to speak to one of our top-rated injury attorneys about a potential case, just give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free) for a free, no-obligation consultation. We handle all injury and death cases on a contingency basis.