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Could you be eligible to make a product liability claim?

Faulty products can cause injury - Picture by raymond_zoller on FlickrWhen we purchase a product, we expect that procedures have been put in place and checks have been made to ensure that the item we are purchasing is fully safe for our use. Unfortunately, there are some occasions where faulty products find their way onto a store's shelves and cause harm to the consumer.

How products are protected from faults

From the designers to the suppliers, everyone involved in the creation and trade of a product is liable when a fault is found. Most companies will have liability insurance so that they are covered in the eventuality that one of their products is defective. However, every effort should be made to make sure all products intended for sale meet the regulated standards, and legal action will be taken by trading standards if the company fails to abide by these.

To avoid being sued for unsafe products, companies are required to take certain measures such as warning consumers about potential risks, providing information on the risks, continually monitoring the safety of products, and fixing any problems found, in the appropriate manner as soon as possible.

What can you do if a faulty product harms you or your property?

The Consumer Protection Act 1987 protects the public by prohibiting the manufacture of unsafe goods and holding the manufacturer or seller responsible for any defective products that are sold. If you suffer an injury or your property is damaged because of a faulty or hazardous product, you have the legal right to start a case against the responsible party and claim for damages.

Product liability can apply to a whole range of retail items, for example, a chair that causes harm by breaking underneath the weight of the person sitting on it, contaminated or food sold once out-of-date that gives the consumer food poisoning, and even medications which create adverse effects not mentioned in the information leaflet provided.

As with many cases, product liability claims are time sensitive, and you will only be able to start a claim in the three years after the incident occurred, or in the three years after the product is found responsible for the accident. If an unsafe product that does not belong to you causes injury or damage to your property, you still have the legal right to open a case against the manufacturer.

To support your product liability case, evidence needs to be provided to show that someone else - other than yourself - was responsible for the accident, e.g. if a defect of the design caused the fault, then the designers are liable.

The incident needs to be reported to the person responsible as soon as possible, with notes of the accident written down in an accident book if appropriate. Collecting names and addresses from any witnesses, taking photographs of the product’s fault, and keeping hold of any relevant receipts can also aid the success of your claim if used as evidence later on in the investigation.

Fonseca Law can help you make a product liability claim today!

If you have been injured or damage has been caused to your property by a faulty product, Fonseca & Partners has a fantastic team of experienced accident and injury lawyers that are happy to assist you through the process of making your claim. Contact us today so we can help you receive the compensation that you deserve.