A defective product is a good that has been supplied/distributed which is unfit for purpose. A defective product is also one which is harmful or dangerous, or does not have adequate instructions for the user to follow when using the product.
Product liability is the area of legislation which imposes a duty on any one who produces a product (for example, manufacturers, suppliers, distributers and retailers). These producers have a duty to ensure that the products they distribute to the public are fit for purpose – i.e. they will not cause anyone damage or injury.
The statutory legislation which governs the area is the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Under this Act the public has a legal right to pursue a claim for compensation if they have been injured by a product which was not fit for its intended use.
Who Qualifies Under the Act?
It is possible to sue the manufacturer of a defective product, even if you were not the one who purchased the product from the retailer/manufacturer. Providing you were in a group of ‘foreseeable people’ who could possibly be injured by the defective product, you will be able to claim your compensation.
Three Points to Remember Before Making a Claim
If you have decided that you want to pursue a compensation claim in relation to a defective product, the first thing you will need to prove is that the harm/injury that you have suffered was caused by the defective product in question. Additionally, you will need to initiate this claim within 3 years of having suffered the harm/injury. Finally, it is important to keep all receipts and additional evidence, particularly if you have witnesses that are relevant to your case.
Types of Claim
Product liability spans a huge array of defective products. Interestingly, some of the most common types of defective product claim are in relation to skin blemishes caused by defective cosmetic products, skin burns from defective hairstyling equipment (e.g. straighteners), and experiencing electrical shocks from defective electrical products.
If you have been injured by a defective product, and you feel like you may have a claim for compensation, it is worth seeking professional advice from specialist personal injury lawyers to see if you have a claim which is worth pursuing.
Why Pursue a Defective Product Claim?
It is important that you pursue a valid claim if you have been injured by a defective product. The main reason for doing this is that if your claim is valid, and you are successful, you will be compensated for all your medical treatment, and in many cases, for your lost wages. You will also be compensated for any chronic suffering and any loss to the quality of your life.
There is also another important reason why you should pursue a genuine claim relating to a defective product. If you have been injured by a particular product, it is more than likely that other people who have bought the product may also risk injury. You therefore have a moral duty to ensure that the manufacturer/retailer acts in order to prevent the defective product from injuring anybody else. If you do not pursue your claim, and others don’t either, it is more likely that a greater number of people will suffer injury or harm from a particular defective product.
It is worth noting that pursuing a claim can in some circumstances be free – if you go to the right claims solicitor. Many work on a no win, no fee basis, and so claimants will not have to pay any legal costs unless their case is successfully fought.