If you are injured or experience ill health because of a faulty or defective product, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA) provides important safeguards to protect consumers from defective products. It makes it easier for a person to claim compensation if they are injured because of a fault in a product.
Nearly everything we buy could be a product that is covered by the CPA. The CPA recognises that, if not manufactured or sold properly, any product could potentially be harmful to a person’s health. Product liability covers a wide range of products including everyday items such as food, cosmetics or clothes, through to one off items such as electrical goods and children’s toys.
The manufacturer of any product made in the European Union is potentially liable for making something that causes an injury to a consumer because it is faulty. If the product is not made in the European Union, the company or person responsible for importing the defective product will be liable.
The CPA makes it easier for an injured person to claim against the manufacturer or importer of a defective product that injures a consumer. To claim compensation under the CPA the product must be ‘defective’. A defect exists where the safety of the product is ‘not such as persons are generally entitled to expect’.
Whether a particular product that causes an injury is actually defective or safe for the purposes of claiming compensation will depend on the individual circumstances, including:
- How it was sold, advertised or marketed
- What purpose the product was sold to do
- How good the instructions were or whether sufficient warnings were provided
- How the product could reasonably have been used by the consumer
- How long ago the product was sold
Product liability claims fall into four main areas:
- The product is not manufactured properly; for example, it is contaminated
- The product is poorly designed – which means that although it is manufactured properly it was designed in a way that means it is not safe
- There are no warnings or the warnings given are not accurate or clear enough
- The manufacturer recognises that there is a defect in their product but fails to do everything necessary to recall the product
If you are injured because of a product that you believe was defective, you will usually have three years starting from when you were injured or from when you became aware that the product was causing you harm.
To find out whether you can claim compensation for an injury caused by a defective product, call The Injury Lawyers’ claims helpline to find out more.