Products purchased in the UK should be safe to use because of strict legislation in place designed to protect consumers. However, product defects do sometimes occur and they can lead to serious or even life-threatening injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a faulty product, you could be entitled to compensation for your suffering. This article about defective product injury claims will explain when that might be possible and review what options you have available to you.
Our team of specially-trained advisors can answer any questions about starting a claim with you in a no-obligation telephone consultation. They’ll examine how you were injured and provide expert advice about your next steps. If it appears that there’s a realistic chance you’ll be compensated and a personal injury solicitor from our panel agree to work for you, your product defect claim will proceed on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means you won’t need to pay for your legal representation unless compensation is awarded.
To find out more about defective product claims please continue reading or call our team now on 0800 652 1345.
What is the law on defective products?
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you the legal right to ask for a refund, replacement or repair if you buy a product that is defective. In most cases, you’ll arrange this with the retailer that sold you the product rather than the manufacturer.
However, defective product claims might be needed if you’ve been injured by the product or your property has been damaged because of the fault. In this situation, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 protects consumers in cases of injury or fatalities caused by defective products. Generally, these types of compensation claims will be against the manufacturer but retailers or importers could also be sued in some cases.
You needn’t be too concerned about which legislation applies to your claim as this is something your solicitor will check as part of their initial review of your claim. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered an injury because of a product defect, please get in touch for free legal advice today.
Can I claim compensation for being injured by a defective product?
Product manufacturers have a duty of care to ensure that consumers can use their products safely. To help them understand their responsibilities, the government has produced a set of product safety advice guidelines.
As such, one of our personal injury lawyers could help you make a defective product claim if:
- You were injured by a product; and
- You were using the product for its intended purpose; and
- Your injuries were caused by a manufacturing or design defect.
Claims could also be possible for injuries caused by a lack of instruction on how to use the product safely. This might be possible where mandatory safety stickers or instruction manuals were missing at the point of purchase.
Injuries caused by defective products
Essentially, a defective product claim could be based on any type of injury that results from the use of a faulty product. Some common injuries include:
- Cuts, abrasions and scars.
- Broken or fractured bones.
- Electric shock.
- Soft tissue injuries.
Some injuries will be superficial and you’ll recover fully within a matter of days or weeks. However, product defect claims can also be based on life-changing, life-threatening or even fatal injuries.
Please call our team for free advice if you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product and believe you should be compensated.
How much compensation for a defective product injury can I claim?
Any personal injury claim should be based on how the claimant has suffered as a result of the injury from the defective product. Depending on the nature of your suffering, compensation could cover:
- Physical suffering (pain and discomfort) caused by your injuries.
- Psychological harm (distress, anxiety, depression etc).
- Loss of earnings.
- The extent to which your injuries hinder your ability to take part in your usual activities and hobbies.
- Costs from the care provided by someone else during your recovery period.
- Physiotherapy, prescription fees and other medical expenses.
- Fuel, parking and other travel costs.
- Future lost income if your capacity to work is reduced for the long term.
- Replacement property costs.
- Vehicle or home modifications to make life easier if you’ve suffered a permanent disability as a result of your injuries.
When making a defective product injury claim, you’ll need an independent medical assessment to help establish the gravity of your injuries. Your solicitor will therefore try to arrange a local appointment with a specialist.
During the meeting, your injuries will be examined and you’ll have the chance to explain how your life has been affected by them. Your injuries and your prognosis will be explained in the medical specialist’s report.
Scenarios in which a defective product might cause personal injuries
There is an array of products that could be dangerous if they are not built to the required standards. We have listed some examples of the types of product defects that could potentially lead to personal injuries. If your scenario isn’t shown here, don’t worry, we could still help you to begin a defective product claim.
- Electrical equipment. Poorly manufactured electrical products can lead to electric shock or even electrocution. Additionally, some devices like mobile phones have the potential to cause fire damage to your home.
- White goods and kitchen equipment. Kettles, toasters, hobs, coffee makers and ovens all have the potential to cause burns or scalds if defective. Other kitchen devices such as blenders, mixers and slicers could lead to cuts or partial finger amputations if safety features fail.
- Vehicles. Cars and vans must be designed and built to meet minimum safety standards. Failure to do so could result in drivers or passengers being injured. For example, a claim might be possible if you were injured because an airbag failed to operate properly following a crash.
- Children’s Toys. The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 is a specific piece of legislation designed to try and ensure children’s toys are built to high standards in an attempt to prevent child injuries. As a result, a poorly designed or manufactured toy or game that causes injuries could result in a defective product injury claim.
- Garden and DIY tools. Products such as ladders, drills, lawnmowers and strimmers should be built to a standard that makes them safe for their intended purpose. For example, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained after a ladder collapsed because it was too weak.
- Furniture. Beds, sofas, chairs, bean bags and stools must all be built with safety in mind. That means there shouldn’t be any sharp edges or exposed nails and fire retardant material should be used.
- Cosmetic Treatments and beauty devices. Defective hair dyes, teeth whitening kits, hair straighteners and beauty products such as skin creams, lipsticks and nail varnishes have the potential to cause burns (including chemical burns), skin conditions and scarring. You could claim if a beauty product was poorly built or if the instructions on how to apply a treatment were not clear.
- Food. You might not realise it but food contamination or food poisoning could also lead to a product defect claim. For example, you could claim if you have suffered as a result of contaminated food caused by poor hygiene standards in a restaurant.
Again, this is just a sample of the different types of product defects that could lead to a claim if you’ve been injured or made ill as a result.
Providing proof for a defective product injury claim
If you wish to be compensated for injuries caused by a defective product, proof will need to show what went wrong, how the product caused your injuries and how you’ve suffered as a result. Examples of the types of proof for a defective product injury claim include:
- The product itself. After an accident involving a defective product, you should keep hold of it if possible. If you cannot do so, take photographs of it if it’s safe to do so.
- Expert reports. To prove that the product was in fact faulty because of a defect, your solicitor might ask a third-party specialist to examine it and write a report about the cause of your injuries.
- Witness statements. If anyone else was with you when you were injured, your solicitor might ask them for a statement of what happened.
- Medical records. After treatment by a GP or at a hospital, your medical records could be requested to help confirm your diagnosis and the treatment needed.
- Financial records. As you may be able to recoup any losses caused by the faulty product, you should hold on to any relevant bank statements, receipts or wage slips.
When you discuss your defective product claim with your solicitor, they’ll take a statement from you about what happened and the impact your injuries have had. As such, before calling, it’s a good idea to write as much down as possible. This could include any dates you couldn’t work or any events you had to miss because of your injuries.
Defective product injury claims time limits
Personal injury claims have a 3-year limitation period. For adults, this will generally start on the date a claimant was injured by the defective product. For children (under 18 years old), the time limit does not start until their 18th birthday. That means that a responsible adult could claim on their behalves as the child’s litigation friend at any time before then.
Also, the time limit will not apply if an adult cannot manage a claim themselves because their injuries are too serious. However, if they regain the ability to make a claim themself, the 3-year time limit would then begin from that point if a litigation friend hasn’t already begun the process.
Our advice is always to seek legal advice right away because there is a lot of work needed before the claim can be filed. An early start will allow ample time for the product defect to be investigated and other proof including medical records to be collected.
How long does a defective product compensation claim take?
No two compensation claims are the same so it’s difficult to put a timescale on a claim until it’s been reviewed fully. In principle, where liability for your injuries is accepted by the defendant early on, you could receive a compensation payout in around 6 to 9 months.
If extra time is needed to fully understand how your injuries have affected you, it may be possible for interim payments to be paid to help with medical treatment costs or loss of earnings.
No Win, No Fee claims
If a solicitor from our panel represents you, they’ll do all they can to try and ensure you receive the best settlement amount to cover all of your suffering, and do so on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that:
- No legal fees will be requested upfront.
- You won’t have to pay legal fees if the claim fails.
Knowing that your solicitor is taking on all of the financial risks when claiming should make the whole process less stressful.
If your defective product injury claim is accepted, your solicitor will manage everything on your behalf. That means you won’t need to speak to the defendant directly or answer any complex or technical questions.
If there is a positive outcome to your claim, a success fee will be deducted from your settlement amount. If the claim is lost, you’ll pay nothing.
To find out if you could claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call our team today.
Start a defective product injury claim today
If you believe you should be compensated for injuries caused by a defective product, you can speak to our team on 0800 652 1345 today. During a no-obligation consultation, free advice will be offered and we’ll answer any questions you may have.
If the claim is strong enough and accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, you won’t pay any legal fees unless compensation is awarded as your case will be managed on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Please use our form here to arrange a consultation (by phone) or take advantage of the live chat service if you’d like to know anything else about defective product claims.