A Guide to Claiming Defective Product Injury Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
This guide sets out what you need to know about making a successful defective product injury compensation claim.
Despite legislation to protect consumers against dangerous goods, accidents resulting from defective products are all too common.
The law dictates that all goods sold in the UK must be fit for purpose and safe to use. In addition, the law states that:
- consumers must be warned about potential risks
- information must be provided to help consumers understand the risks
- the safety of products must be monitored
- action must be taken if a safety problem is found
Goods may be faulty due to a design or manufacturing issue or because they have been damaged in transit or in a retail outlet. In theory, a claim could be brought against a manufacturer or a retailer.
If you have purchased faulty goods that have caused you an injury, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Must I have purchased the goods to make a claim?
In some circumstances, the claimant does not have to have purchased the goods to make a claim, e.g. when a medical implant provided for you by the NHS fails to work properly.
The Association of British Insurers advises businesses on whether they need product liability insurance, stating "You should consider product liability insurance if your business designs, manufactures or supplies a physical product that is sold or given away for free." (source: abi.org.uk).
This means that even if you did not buy something, the people supplying it to you still have a duty to make sure you are safe.
Do I have a defective product injury claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a defective product injury claim if your injury happened:
- in the last three years and,
- someone else was at fault.
However, there may be other considerations that mean you have a valid claim - even if the above points do not apply to you.
To find out for sure, you can speak to a defective product injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. We will not put you under any pressure to pursue a claim.
You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.
What if it was a criminal incident?
If your Defective Product Injury injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a defective product injury claim on their own behalf.
Can compensation help you?
Injuries resulting from defective products can range from small cuts, bruises and burns to serious, even life-threatening injuries. Our panel of personal injury solicitors will seek to obtain maximum compensation for:
- pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- medical and any other treatment required to aid recovery
- expenses you have incurred, e.g travel expenses
- loss of earnings
Common categories of product liability claims
Medical devices and implants
It may be possible to claim for defective medical devices and implants used during treatment or operation - even if the claimant hasn't technically purchased the defective item. Examples include sodium valproate during pregnancy, human growth hormone complications, breast implants, hip replacements, knee and elbow joints, pacemakers, orthopaedic items
Claims for faulty dental products including tooth veneers, bridge, crowns and implants.
Pharmaceutical and drugs
Including Imuran, MMR and vaccinations, Myodil, Vioxxfaulty aspirin and paracetamol, faulty defibrillators, Dakon Shield, preparations and general medical items such as syringes.
Pushchairs, prams and child safety equipment
Notably, MACLaren were recently involved in a major product recall and compensation was paid to children injured as a result.
There are numerous other manufacturers of buggies and pushchairs including Abyjogger, Babystyle, Bebe Confort, Bebecar, Britax, Bugaboo, Chicco, Cosatto, Graco, Hauck, iCandy, Jané, Joie, Mamas and Papas, Maxi Cosi, Mountain Buggy, Nuna, Phil & Teds, Quinny, Safety 1st, Silvercross and Stokke.
Vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, bicycles, vans.
Claims within this category usually relate to a specific component used in the manufacture of the vehicle.
Cosmetic and beauty treatments
These can include hair dye, electrolysis, CO2 and Dot laser machines or treatment creams.
Children's toys and games
Typically these are toys that were in some way dangerous or harmful, or which fell apart becoming dangerous, causing injury as a result.
Tools and gardening equipment
Lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, strimmers ladders and stepladders, electric drills, jigsaws, planers, routers are a few examples of the sort of products that can malfunction and cause injury.
Lithium batteries, switchgear and faulty wiring.
Kitchen equipment and white goods
Household items such as faulty domestic appliances, cookers and hobs, coffee machines, hot water bottles, fridges, washing machines and other white goods.
Leisure, camping, sports and exercise equipment
Gym equipment such as running, rowing and weight training machines are often involved in causing injury. Faulty safety helmets and other protective gear, harnesses and rock climbing equipment,, diving equipment.
Boats and wind surfers, bicycles, trials and motocross motorbikes, tricycle and quad bikes, scooters, skateboards and roller skates.
The amount of money you could claim for your defective product injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your defective product injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
See a list of what you can claim for:
Examples of special damages include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Find out what your claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your defective product injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
How long does a personal injury claim take?
The time needed to win a defective product claim can vary enormously. Straightforward claims may be settled in a few months, whereas some more complicated cases can take years to conclude.
This can be concerning for some claimants who may be incurring costs immediately and might not be able to work as a result of the injury. In these circumstances it may be possible to secure interim compensation payments ahead of a final settlement.
It may not always be in the injured person's best interests to conclude a case too quickly. Further negotiation could lead to a more substantial settlement. Conversely, some insurance companies will make their best offer early in the process. An experienced solicitor will advise you of the best strategy during the course of the case.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)
If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:
According to the latest figures published in 2019, there were over 17,000 clinical negligence claims in the year 2016-17. This increase is largely down to an overstretched NHS.
If you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
Other claim types
Find details on another type of claim:
No win, no fee, no risk
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any fees if your defective product injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
No win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a defective product injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my defective product injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my defective product injury claim?
If your defective product injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees.
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:Call me back
No Win, No Fee
to start a claim
Defective Product Injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an interim compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert