When you buy a product and use in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, you expect that it will work the way it should. The last thing you expect is to get injured because the product was faulty. The law recognises this too and has established a special clause pertaining to faulty product claims. According to the law, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained while using a faulty product.
We understand that this brings up a lot of questions for most people, especially those who are not familiar with the legal process. Unfortunately, some people will not receive any compensation for their injuries simply because they are not sure how to proceed. To make it easier for you to get the compensation due to you, we’ve put together this list of questions that we are frequently asked by prospective clients.
What is a faulty product claim?
A faulty product claim is a type of personal injury compensation claim. You have a legal right to make a faulty product claim if you are injured while using a faulty product.
What types of faulty products can I claim injury compensation for?
The list is extensive. You can claim for injuries for products that range from electrical appliances and vehicles to leisure items and all types of household items. Contaminated cosmetic products and malfunctioning styling equipment also come under faulty products.
These are some of the more common faulty product claims that have been filed over the past few years:
- Malfunctioning electrical appliances that caused electric shocks, burns or scalds.
- All types of defective equipment, including leisure equipment, gardening tools, assistive devices, DIY tools, kitchen gadgets and other household appliances.
- Contaminated food that resulted in food poisoning.
- Faulty vehicle parts that caused an accident.
- Contaminated beauty products or other faulty beauty procedures that resulted in skin damage.
- Defective or wrongly labelled children’s toys that caused injuries.
- Wrongfully prepared pharmaceutical products or medications.
- Faulty medical equipment that led to further complications.
Essentially, there are three types of faulty product claims that you can file – for products that have a manufacturing defect, for products that have a defective design, and for products that do not come with adequate instructions or warning regarding proper use or precautions.
I think I have a faulty product claim but I’m not sure. What do I do?
Never ignore getting legal advice if you’re not sure. The best thing you can do to protect your legal rights is to consult a personal injury solicitor and find out more about personal injury law. Most personal injury solicitors offer a complimentary, obligation-free first consultation. Take advantage of this to know more about your right to claim. Personal injury solicitors have vast experience in personal injury law and are in the best position to give you the right advice in this regard.
Even if the solicitor advises me to file a claim for compensation, I don’t have the funds to cover the legal fees – what do I do?
If you have a strong case, you won’t need to worry about any up-front legal fees. Your personal injury solicitor will draw up a No Win No Fee agreement. One of the terms of this agreement is that the solicitor will cover the legal fees associated with your claim while it is on-going. You are only liable to reimburse pay a fee if your claim is successful and you are awarded compensation.
Some cautionary advice however is that it is your responsibility to check any No Win No Fee agreement properly prior to signing on the dotted line as terms and conditions may vary between different solicitors or law firms. Never agree to any legally binding contract if you have any doubts.
How much will I have to pay my solicitor if my defective product claim is successful?
The No Win No Fee agreement should include all details of how much you have to pay if your claim is successful. It will also include details of how the fee will be paid and the time line for making the payments. Generally the amount you are liable to pay is a set percentage of the total amount awarded to you and is taken straight from the compensation. You and your solicitor/law firm will have to agree on the details while signing the No Win No Fee contract.
How much compensation will I be awarded if my faulty product claim is successful?
Compensation amounts vary from one case to another, depending on a number of factors. Compensation is usually awarded for general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded as compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
Special damages are awarded to reimburse your actual expenses including the cost of medical care, travel expenses related to your medical treatment and loss of income. Special damages also cover ongoing medical treatment such as physiotherapy, cost of adaptations to your home, and cost of a home care professional.
What will I need to prove fault?
The evidence you will need to prove fault will depend on the particular circumstances related to your case. In general, to win any faulty product claim, you must be able to prove four things:
1). That the product was faulty (this could be a manufacturing defect, a design fault or lack of adequate instructions or warnings).
2). That you were injured.
3). That the faulty product was the specific cause of your injury/injuries.
4). That you were using the faulty product as per the instructions provided and in the correct way in which it was meant to be used.
Who should I file my faulty product claim against?
This can often be challenging as many defective products go through several different hands before you purchase it. It starts with the design of the product, then the procurement of materials and the manufacturing process. The finished product is then sold to a wholesaler and then on to the retail outlet, from where you buy the item. Who you file the claim against will depend on the specific defect that caused your injuries. Your personal injury solicitor will make a decision on who to make the faulty product claim against based on how the accident occurred.