Dangerous toy compensation claims

Updated: October 8, 2018


Companies that manufacture children's toys are held to a higher standard of safety and have a special responsibility to ensure their products are safe for use by children. Despite this, each year around 35,000 British children are injured in accidents involving toys.

Dangerous and defective toys are a frequent source of accidents involving children. Where the danger or defect results from negligence of other breach by the manufacturer, a claim may be brought on behalf of the child, under the UK's product liability laws that address defective product claims.

Examples of defective or dangerous toys include those with sharp edges, those that have been manufactured using harmful materials, and toys assembled using sub-standard production techniques that may cause them to break or splinter during play.

Playground equipment
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What are the risks posed by dangerous toys?

The most common injuries from toys are:

Compensation for dangerous toy injuries is awarded by reference to the nature and severity of the injuries and the long term effect the injuries will have on the child's life.

Regardless of the nature of the injuries, the legal basis for making a claim will depend on proving whether they toy was inherently faulty.

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Do I have a dangerous toy injury claim?

Dangerous toy claims are a type of product liability claim. To make a successful claim, the injury lawyer must show that:

  • The toy was defectively designed, constructed or labelled
  • The child was injured as a direct result of the defect

Product liability claims operate on the basis of strict liability. This means that it is not necessary to show that the manufacturer was to blame for the defect or even knew that a problem existed. The Courts only require proof that the toy was faulty, and that the child's injuries arose as a result.

It is important that parents heed any age guidance provided on the packaging and follow the manufacturer's safety instructions. If a toy intended for an older child is given to a toddler, it is unlikely that a claim for compensation may be brought for any injury the toddler suffers. Exceptions to this general rule may be made, depending on the circumstances of the case.

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Who is liable for a defective toy injury?

Claims are brought against the toy manufacturer. In theory, the retail store where the toy was purchased may also be held liable, as retailers must take every reasonable step to ensure the products they sell are safe for use.

Where a retailer continues to sell a product after receiving a rapid alert safety warning or toy recall, the retailer is likely to be liable for any injuries that are caused by the hazardous toy.

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Can a parent bring a defective toy claim on behalf of the child?

A parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult may bring a claim on behalf of a child as their "litigation friend".

This means that the adult will commence and run the case in the best interests of the child. When a settlement is negotiated, the Court will ensure that the compensation is reasonable.

For more information or to discuss your options with a solicitor, call Quittance on 0800 612 7456.

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How much compensation can I claim for if injured by a toy?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

Use our Online Compensation Calculator
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Meet the QLS team

Quittance Legal Services' nationwide panel of solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, including short-term, serious and life-changing injury claims. Our lawyers are selected for their level of specialist experience and their track record in winning cases.

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Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

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