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Product liability claims

If you have bought a product which has turned out to be faulty or caused you an injury, you may be entitled to compensation.

In some situations, you might just want your money back but the timeframe to claim a refund has expired. Good news – you could be entitled to a repair, replacement or a refund even if the product is out of warranty. 

What can a solicitor do for you?

If you appoint a solicitor, they will start by making enquiries as to who is liable. The manufacturers, distributors and retailers of the product have a duty to ensure the product you are purchasing is safe to use.

You may have purchased a product such as an electronic device and it doesn't do what it is supposed to do, or is badly designed and, as a result, causes you an injury.  Perhaps the product does not have any warnings regarding the proper use.

This is known as a defective product and you have rights.

You are protected

As a consumer, you have rights under The Consumer Protection Act 1987. This Act protects you by:

  • Prohibiting the manufacture and supply of unsafe goods.
  • Making the manufacturer or seller of a defective product responsible for damage it causes.
  • Allowing Trading Standards Officers of local councils to seize unsafe goods and suspend the sale of suspected unsafe goods.
  • Prohibiting misleading price indications.
Who is liable for the damage and who can claim?

‘Where any damage is caused wholly or partly by a defect in a product, every person…shall be liable for damage.’

Any person who has suffered damage as a result of the defect will be entitled to claim, and not just whoever bought the product.

The defect doesn’t need to be the only cause of any damage, but it must have contributed to it.

What defects can I claim for?

Under the Consumer Protection Act, a product is defective if the safety of the product is not as you’d generally expect. For example, how would the electronic device you bought reasonably be expected to be used?

What should I do if I receive an injury from a defective/damaged product?

As mentioned above, you may be entitled to compensation for the injury you have sustained as a result of the defective/damaged product, therefore:

  • Seek medical attention
  • Keep hold of the product
  • Keep any proof of purchase ie, receipts
  • Take photographs of the product
  • Contact a solicitor who will guide you through the next steps

This article was written by Summerfield Browne Solicitors

DISCLAIMER: This article should not be regarded as constituting legal advice in relation to particular circumstances. This article is merely a general comment on the relevant topic. If specific advice is required in connection with any of the matters covered in this article, please speak to Summerfield Browne Solicitors directly.

Published on 27th February 2018
(Last updated 3rd April 2018)

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