If you have bought a product that is defective, you may be able to pursue a claim for product liability compensation. Usually, the threshold for being able to pursue a claim is that there has been some sort of injury to yourself or a loved one as a result of the faulty product.
What are product liability claims?
Product liability claims are civil claims that can be made by anyone who has suffered physically as a result of a faulty product. These types of claims fall under the “personal injury” claims category and are intended to help anyone who has suffered due to a manufacturing fault.
Theoretically, defects can occur in any products, however there have been a few high-profile brands which have come under criticism for their defective products and how they have dealt with them. For example, you might remember that phone manufacturer Samsung recalled and discontinued the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone back in 2016 due to a fault with the battery that was causing excessive heat that in some cases, made the phone catch fire. This was a worldwide issue, which led to the phone being banned by many airlines and other transport companies, and eventually being discontinued by Samsung.
This is the kind of product defect issue that a product liability claim could be pursued for, especially if someone was injured by the phone catching fire. Other serious examples have seen tumble dryers and other white goods catching fire, which has led to people’s homes and possessions being damaged and them being injured.
What can compensation cover?
Product liability compensation can cover a range of unforeseen circumstances and costs that you may incur if you have bought a defective product, such as:
- Medical treatment and care
- Emotional distress
- Time off work
- Changes in lifestyle due to injury
- Destroyed possessions
Most medical care in the UK is currently free, however if you have had to undergo some sort of treatment due to a defective product, you still deserve to be compensated for your trouble. Some examples of injuries where you may require medical assistance include:
- Burns or electric shocks due to unsafe electrical appliances such as tumble dryer fires.
- Food poisoning due to consuming contaminated food.
- Trapped body parts such as fingers and limbs in mechanical machinery such as exercise machines.
- Skin damage or allergic reactions caused by contaminated cosmetics.
Not only do these products cause physical damage, but they can also cause emotional distress. This is particularly true in cases where the defective product has caused a very noticeable and/or life changing injury. Because of this, a personal injury claim can be pursued in order for the person who has suffered to get compensated.
How are you protected by the law?
Some products are simple to assemble and use, and some are more complex. However, no matter what the product is and what it is like, if you use it correctly then it should be completely safe.
You have a right to be safe when using products under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which states that a person injured by a defective product is able to claim compensation. This legislation also states that the manufacturer of any product has a duty to warn customers of potential risks and hazards regarding that product. If any manufacturer finds a defect in a product that is already on the market, they have a responsibility to recall the product to ensure that no injuries – or no further injuries – occur.