Defective Product Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a defective product injury, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by a defective product, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a defective product compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the defect caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, manufacturers and retailers can usually be held responsible for a defective product that causes injury.

We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Gardener with hedge trimmer

Introduction

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, you do 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).

Even if you did not buy the defective product that injures you, the company supplying it to may still be liable to pay your compensation.

Do I have an injury claim?

As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

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 an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?

A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.

What if I was diagnosed months after the defective product injury?

Depending on how your defective product injury happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.

How can compensation help me?

Injuries resulting from defective products can range from small cuts, bruises and burns to serious, even life-threatening injuries.

Your solicitor will help you to claim compensation for all the losses and expenses you have suffered, including:

  • 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

You may be able to claim for defective medical devices and implants used during treatment or operation - even if you haven't technically purchased the defective item.

Examples include defective sodium valproate prescribed during pregnancy, human growth hormone complications, breast implants, hip replacements, knee and elbow joints, pacemakers, and orthopaedic devices.

Dental

Claims for faulty dental products including tooth veneers, bridge, crowns and implants.

Pharmaceutical and drugs

You may be able to claim compensation for injuries or illness caused defectively-produced medication or medical items, such as Imuran, 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, such as a defective airbag.

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.

If a dangerous toy is unlawfully imported into and sold in the UK, you can usually claim compensation from the importer or retailer (rather than the foreign manufacturer).

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.

Some of these items are inherently dangerous, but if you can prove that your injury was caused a defect rather than incorrect usage, you should be able to claim.

If you plan to make a claim, you should keep the broken equipment if you can, or take many photos and video of the defects if not.

Electrical equipment

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 and diving equipment.

Recreational vehicles

Boats and windsurfers, bicycles, trials and motocross motorbikes, tricycle and quad bikes, scooters, skateboards and roller skates.

If you are injured by a defective vehicle you have rented, your solicitor will likely make a claim against the rental company or venue where you rented the vehicle, rather than the manufacturer or retailer.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General 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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Will I have to pay tax on my defective product injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a defective product injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

How much can I claim?

How long does a defective product liability claim take?

How long it can take to process a defective product liability claim can vary considerably.

A straightforward liability accepted product claim can settle in a few weeks. If the defendant denies liability, a compensation claim can take significantly longer. Usually, a product liability claim will take 6 to 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.

Will I get financial advice?

Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your defective product injury claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

No win, no fee, no risk

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any fees if your 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 an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my 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 injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

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
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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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.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

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.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher