Product Liability Claims

Any type of product can malfunction, and should this cause you harm through a fault or design problem, you are allowed to make a product liability claim under the Consumer Act of 1987. The act covers a wide range of products, varying from cosmetics and batteries to chargers and cars.

Our solicitors have handled claims for all types of products and we understand what needs to be done to ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation possible. If you have been injured because of an unsafe product, our lawyers are here to help.

To get in touch, either call us on 0800 10 757 95, chat to us online or complete an enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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When the manufacturer is at fault

If there is a problem with a product, the main responsibility lies with the manufacturer - although distributors, for example, shops and websites, can also be held accountable. When an unsafe product causes you harm, you have the right to make a claim as long as you can identify who made the product.

Sometimes it is not clear if the manufacturers are at fault or if the consumer has actually misused the product or ignored instructions. It can be helpful to know the 4 main ways in which a manufacturer can be found to be at fault:

1. Manufacturing

If a product has become defective due to errors or during the manufacturing process.

2. Design

If an injury is caused by a poor design that has led to a fault.

3. Warnings

If there are no warnings on a product of the possible injury risks.

4. Failure to recall

If an injury has been caused by a product that had a known fault and has not been recalled by the manufacturers.

Injuries caused by defective products

Defective goods can cause a variety of injuries, including:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Choking
  • Dermatitis
  • Electrical shocks
  • Fractured and broken bones
  • Scarring

In addition, a faulty product could also be responsible for damage to your property.

Which products commonly cause injury?

To find out more about a particular product that has caused an injury, and whether you could be entitled to make a claim, choose from the list of common products below. This list is by no means exhaustive and if the product you are looking for is not on the list, we will still be able to help you.

Batteries

To read more about injuries caused by defective batteries, click here.

Bicycles

To read about how a faulty bike can cause damage, click here.

Breast implants

For information about how you can suffer an injury from a faulty breast implant, click here.

Car defects

To read about how a car fault can cause an injury, click here.

Chairs

To find out about how a faulty chair can cause an injury, click here.

Chargers

To read about injuries caused by a faulty charger, click here.

Contaminated food

To read about how unsafe food can cause illness, click here.

Cosmetics

Cosmetics are used to help us look healthy and attractive. When they do not perform this job and instead cause us harm, it is only natural that you would consider seeking compensation. While most cosmetic products are perfectly safe, occasionally some defective items can slip through the net, and this can sometimes result in permanent physical damage. Popular products that can result in injury include:

  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Makeup
  • Moisturising creams
  • Soaps
  • Deodorants
  • Toothpastes
  • Perfumes and aftershaves

Injuries caused by cosmetics can also occur due to the negligence of hairdressers and other beauty professionals. If you have been harmed by faulty cosmetics, then you are entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Electrical goods

Manufacturers of electrical goods have a duty to ensure the safety of consumers by reducing the risk of injury from their products. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers adhere to the high safety standards involved in making and supplying these products, which can result in serious injuries.

Any item powered by electricity can be responsible for causing you injury, but the most common products we have come across in product liability claims are:

  • Christmas lights
  • Electric blankets and heaters
  • Hairdryers
  • Hair straighteners
  • Lamps and light fittings
  • Laptops
  • Lawnmowers
  • Microwaves
  • Ovens
  • Electric razors
  • Toasters
  • Power tools

In some cases, your electricity supplier could be held accountable for an accident. For example, if an electrical socket or mains box is incorrectly installed, dangerous live currents could pose a potentially fatal risk to anyone in your household.

If damage has been caused by faulty electrical equipment, our expert solicitors will review your case and determine whether you are entitled to compensation.

Fitness equipment

Fitness equipment is produced for both personal use in the home and commercial use for gyms and other such facilities. If a faulty piece of equipment causes you injury, a number of different parties could be liable depending on the circumstances. For home equipment, the manufacturer will be to blame, but for gym equipment, the liability can lie with either the manufacturer or the gym or leisure centre, especially if they have failed to maintain the offending equipment.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a defective piece of exercise equipment, speak to YouClaim to see if you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation.

Hair dye and other colouring products

To read about how hair dye products can cause you harm, click here.

Hot water bottles

For information about how faulty hot water bottles can result in an injury, click here.

Pushchairs and prams

To read about how an injury can be caused by a pushchair or pram, click here.

Sunbeds

Many of us are aware of the potential dangers of using sunbeds, yet many salons are often unsupervised, with visitors putting money into a machine and being left to their own devices. Furthermore, some salons fail to offer any safety advice. If you are going to use sunbeds, ensure you only do it occasionally, on the lowest setting and only for a couple of minutes, applying lotion before and after use.

If you’ve been injured as a result of sunbed use and were not asked to sign a waiver and told about the risks, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Swings

To read about how children’s swings can cause injury, click here.

Teddy bears and soft toys

Ensuring a toy is appropriate for a child is an important aspect of keeping them safe because of the small parts that some soft toys contain. Stuffed animals with button eyes or small detachable accessories can quickly become a choking hazard for small children, so care must be taken to ensure they are age appropriate.

If a faulty cuddly toy is given to a child, the risk of injury can be high. Choking is one of the biggest dangers from faulty soft toys due to the chance of a small part becoming loose, swallowed by the child and lodged in their throat.

Retailers have a duty to ensure that the products they sell are of a high quality and that staff are trained to provide information on the suitability of the toy for a certain age range. If your child is injured due to a faulty product, you could make a claim for compensation.

Wheat heat bags

Many people who suffer from arthritis and other muscular or joint problems use wheat heat bags to ease their symptoms. However, if a wheat bag is overheated or faulty, it can cause an injury. Despite being seen as a safe alternative to hot water bottles, a number of claims have been made following deterioration through age and repeated use, causing injury and fires.

Manufacturers and vendors of wheat bags can be held responsible if it can be shown that the product was defectively made, for example, safety instructions were misleading or unavailable, and you could therefore be entitled to compensation.

What legal responsibility do manufacturers have for products that could harm you?

The EU directive on faulty products (85/374/EEC), created in 1985, protects consumers’ rights by outlining the legal responsibility of manufacturers for whatever products they make. It also helps the compensation claim process if required. Items included in the directive can include anything from cars and toys to food and pharmaceutical products.      

If a product is defective, it is deemed to be ‘less safe than a consumer can reasonably expect’. Before the directive, you had to prove at your own cost that a manufacturer had been negligent in causing an injury. Now, you only have to prove the product is defective and that it caused an injury. If one or more people are responsible for the product, it is considered a joint liability.

The directive states that manufacturers and not retailers are liable for injuries caused by defective products. Financial penalties put further pressure on manufacturers to make sure their products are safe before they are sold.

If national legislation does not comply with the requirement of the directive, the EU can initiate legal action against the member state in the European Court of Justice.

Our advice to consumers is to choose the products they buy with great care and to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. The manufacturer is responsible for the defective product if based in the EU, but if they are not based in the EU then the importer will be held accountable.

In the event of a claim, action must be taken within 3 years of the accident taking place. The right to claim compensation ends 10 years after the product first appeared on the market.

How YouClaim can help

It is important that the solicitor you choose to represent you has specialist knowledge of this area of law because these cases are often extremely complex. In some situations, it may not be the manufacturer or the seller who is to blame, but a combination of both parties.

Our expert solicitors have the experience and expertise to give you the best possible chance of winning your case, and with our ‘no win, no fee’ approach, you are protected should your claim be unsuccessful.

Get started today

If you or a family member have been injured by a faulty product, our solicitors are here to offer advice and guidance. Start your claim today by simply calling us on 0800 10 757 95 or chatting to us online. Alternatively, fill out the enquiry form on this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.