The Consumer Protection Act
As a consumer, you have every right to expect that the goods you buy are safe to use. So what happens if they cause you injury or harm?
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a key piece of legislation that governs the safety of products sold to members of the public. Anyone injured by a faulty product, whether that product is a television, a kitchen appliance or a car, has the right to bring a compensation claim.
Who can make a defective product claim?
The Consumer Protection Act contains wide-reaching compensation provisions that apply to any consumer who is injured by a defective product. Only some business uses are exempt.
You do not need to have bought the product to make a claim. Nor do you have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. The only thing you have to show is that the product was defective, and you suffered injury as a result.
When is a product defective?
A product is defective if it is not as safe as you are entitled to expect. The Court will look at a variety of factors in deciding whether a product was defective, such as how you used the product and any safety warnings given by the manufacturer.
Once it is established that the product was defective, the defendant has very few defences to your compensation claim. However, they may avoid liability if they can demonstrate that the defect was not discoverable by accessing all scientific knowledge; that is, there is no possible way anyone could have known about the problem.
What injury can I claim for?
Claims may be brought for death, personal injury and damage to private property exceeding £275.
The Court will generally award two kinds of damages for your injury. The first, called general damages, is awarded for pain and suffering. The Court calculates your general damages according to a tariff of injuries and the compensation you receive may be quite small.
The second type of damages is called special damages. This covers the financial losses and expenses arising as a result of your injury, such as loss of earnings and the cost of personal care. Serious injuries that affect your ability to work and care for yourself attract the largest awards.
Who do I sue?
The "producer" is responsible for paying your compensation. The following categories of people are "producers" under the Consumer Protection Act:
- the manufacturer of the completed product or the person who manufactured a defective component, such as an engine part, if the defective component caused the product to fail.
- a firm that puts their own brand on a product, such as a big-name retailer
- the first importer of a product into the EU.
Lliability is "joint and several" which means you can sue any or all of these people.
Quittance can help
If you have been injured by a defective product, Quittance can help.
Our expert panel of solicitors will consider your case and advise you of the strength of your claim. Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation and details of our No Win. No Fee deal for product liability claimants.