Defective product injury compensation claims
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.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
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.
Defective product injury claim time limits
To be able to claim compensation the injury (or discovery of the injury) must have occurred within the last 3 years, after which any claim will be statute barred.
A further stipulation as set out in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) means that the claim must be initiated within 10 years of the product being put into market circulation.
Proving the defective item caused your injury
It will also be necessary to establish that the product was defective in a manner that resulted in the injury. You will not need to establish negligence on the part of the defendant, but it will be necessary to prove causation. Proving causation means showing that there was a link between the product defect and the injury.
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
The first step we will take is to address any questions you may have and clearly set out your options.
Our experienced solicitors have assisted people to obtain compensation for a wide range of injuries relating to defective products, whether sustained at home, at work or whilst receiving a treatment or service.
Successful claims have been brought against:
- manufacturers, suppliers and retailers
- employers providing faulty tools and equipment in the workplace
- the NHS and private medical providers
Our approach is to provide as much assistance as possible to help you recover, while providing pragmatic legal advice throughout the claim process.
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.
Compensation awards are broken down into general damages and special damages.
General damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards. These guidelines take into account both the nature and severity of an injury.
Judicial College guidelines are adopted by the greater majority of Courts and consequently insurers and solicitors refer to these guidelines when negotiating settlements.
It may also be possible to claim special damages which means any other losses suffered as a result of time of work, treatment, damage to personal property and so on.
To get a detailed estimate of how much compensation you may be entitled to, call 0800 612 7456 or calculate how much compensation you could get with a free Compensation Claim Report (CCR).
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.
To get a better idea of how long it could take to win your case, we will need some more detail. Call us today or aAlternatively get a bespoke CCR for a clearer idea of timescales.
No Win, No Fee defective product injury compensation claims properly begin with the claimant signing a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a CFA) with their solicitor.
Your CFA lays out the contract or "terms and conditions" between you and your solicitor.
The agreement sets out the work the solicitor provides, and crucially, a percentage-based "success fee". The "success fee" will be the amount that will be taken from the award after the lawyer wins your claim.
You have absolutely no hidden costs when choosing a Quittance solicitor. You will be able to prioritise your recovery, with the knowledge that there is nothing whatsoever to pay at the outset.
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim defective product injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Meet the QLS team
The national panel of Quittance solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims, from more minor injury cases to long-term injuries. Our lawyers are chosen on the basis of their track record in winning claims and their specialist knowledge.
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.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert