Product liability claims – a guide to making a claim for defective products
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We naturally expect that all of the products we buy and bring into our homes are safe to use and in a good condition. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case and injuries can and do happen because of defective products.
When we think of defective products that can be a danger to us, we instantly think of electrical goods. While these are a common cause of injuries in the home, they are not the only types of product that can lead to compensation claims. Everything from sporting goods to cosmetics and medical products/drugs can cause serious injury if they are defective.
In this guide will explain everything you need to know about products liability claims, and what to do if you have been injured because of a faulty or defective product.
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There are usually four main reasons why a product may be faulty and lead to a compensation claim:
- Failure to recall a product after it is known to be faulty
- Poor design and build of a product
- Contamination of the product during the manufacturing process
- Failure to display sufficient warning notices on a product
Whether it’s electronic goods, toys, white goods, food, medicines, or even the cars we drive, there is always the assumptions that the products we buy meet certain quality and safety standards and that the manufacturers of the products have tested them thoroughly to make sure they are safe for us to use.
Despite this and legal safeguards that are in place to regulate the sale of certain products, it is all too often that faulty and defective products end up in our homes – which can sometimes lead to a serious injury for us or our loved ones.
There are many different types of products that can cause a serious injury if they are defective, including:
- Electrical products
- Sporting goods
- Medical products, drugs and medicines
- Food and supplements
Faulty electrical products claims
Whether it’s small items like e-cigarettes, humble toasters and kettles or big white goods like a washing machine or fridge-freezer, defective electrical products have the potential to cause serious harm. It is not uncommon for electrical goods to suffer faults and, while a lot of these defects tend to be minor, it can often cause serious damage to people and their homes.
The manufacturers and retailers of electrical products have a duty of care to make sure that the goods they sell meet certain safety requirements. If it is proven that they failed in this duty of care, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against them.
If a faulty electrical product has caused an injury to you or a loved one, then our expert product liability lawyers are on hand to help you pursue a claim for the compensation you deserve.
Faulty sporting goods claims
Buying sporting equipment like exercise bikes or free weights for the home can be an expensive business, so we expect that not only will they work correctly but that they will also be safe to use.
Unfortunately home gym equipment can and does fail, and due to the nature of how we use sporting equipment such an accident can lead to very serious accidents and severe injuries.
Whether it’s a defective treadmill that leads to a fall, or a faulty weight bench that collapses while in use, if you have had an accident and been injured because of faulty sporting equipment they you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Faulty vehicle claims
We like to think that it is very rare for our cars to be faulty and that it is very unlikely that we will suffer an accident because of it. But it really isn’t uncommon for vehicle faults to become apparent years after they have been sold – leaving manufacturers to recall them by their thousands to rectify the issue.
A total of 6 million cars on UK roads have been recalled since the start of 2011, with the worst offenders being Toyota, Honda, Vauxhall, BMW and Fiat. If you want to check if your car has been recalled you can use this tool on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/check-if-a-vehicle-has-been-recalled
If a vehicle you are travelling in is faulty and causes an accident then the effects can be extremely serious. Injuries or deaths caused by road traffic accidents can devastate families and change the lives of everyone concerned forever.
Vehicle defects can be anything from faulty airbags and brakes to seatbelts that fail to work properly in the event of a crash. If you have suffered an injury because of a fault with the vehicle then you could entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Faulty medical products, drugs and medicines
There are strict standards governing the testing of medical products and drugs. But even with such stringent safeguards in place, some faulty items to find their way to the pharmacy counter – which can spell danger for consumers.
Taking medicine that causes an illness to get worse, has unexpected side effects or even fails to help you get better because of a manufacturing fault could be a serious situation, and as such you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. If you have become ill or suffered side effects after taking part in clinical trials then you may also be entitled to make a claim for compensation if negligence can be proved.
Likewise, if you have faulty medical products and devices that cause a serious injury or discomfort then you could be entitled to make a claim. This can include defective hearing aids, cochlear implants, hip replacement, heart pace-setters, essure implants and much more.
Faulty food and supplements claims
When certain food or lifestyle supplements are defective it can cause serious problems which can include the likes of heart attacks, kidney damage, liver damage, jaundice, strokes and infertility. Which such serious potential consequences it’s not surprising that the manufacturers, distributors and sellers of such products are subjected to a lot of safety testing.
However occasionally some products can end up with wrong and damaging ingredients that can cause you harm. If this happens to you then you could be entitled to make a compensation claim against the responsible party.
Who is liable for faulty products claims?
Under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), it is the ‘producer’ of a product who is liable for any defects or faults.
The producer is defined as the manufacturer of the finished product or of a component of the finished product, or any person responsible for an industrial or other process to which any essential characteristic of the product is attributable. Liability may also be imposed on any party who holds itself out to be the producer through the use of a name or trade mark, and any person who imported the product into the European Community.
As such, there may be more than one party liable under the CPA in respect of the same damage. Liability is joint and several, so the injured party may sue any or all of these people. Liability cannot be excluded or limited.
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