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Product liability claims

When you purchase goods you expect them to be safe. But what if you are out for dinner and you come home with food poisoning? Or use a home appliance which is faulty and it causes an injury? Or your child plays with a toy that hurts them?

Product liability claims are legal claims made by consumers against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for products that have caused them harm or injury. These claims arise when a product is defective, unreasonably dangerous, or fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions for safe use. Product liability claims can be complex and requires the expertise of an experienced lawyer to navigate.

The law in the UK provides consumers with a range of legal remedies if they have suffered harm as a result of using a defective product.

What is the Consumer Protection Act 1987?

This legislation imposes strict liability on manufacturers and importers of defective products subject to certain statutory defences. Strict liability means that the manufacturer is liable for any harm provided it can be proved that it was caused by a defect in their product, regardless of whether they were negligent or not. 

What is a defective product liability claim?

Defective product or product liability cases are, in simple terms, when a product you purchased is faulty and it leads to an injury or illness. 

However, there are a set of complex legal tests for proving that a product is defective and proving that the defect caused the injury. Securing the amount of compensation you are entitled to requires expert knowledge.

Our defective product lawyers specialise in a wide range of product liability claims:

Faulty products – any item you purchased such as a laptop, tumble drier, car, bike or any other appliance, product or toy that malfunctioned and led to an injury. We have also seen examples of foreign bodies being found in food that have caused injury.

Food poisoning – food poisoning can lead to a range of issues. From E.Coli and campylobactor to salmonella and listeria, our team has looked after many clients who experienced food poisoning. Additionally, we have handled cases involving poisoning following the consumption of contaminated water and cases involving legionnaires disease

Allergic reaction – all food and drink sold in the UK must clearly state any known allergens including nuts, dairy, wheat and eggs on the packaging, or on the menu if you are eating in a restaurant. This is the law. If you have taken an allergic reaction to something you have eaten and the allergens are not clearly displayed then you may be entitled to make a claim. This is also true if you are in a restaurant and alert staff to an allergy which requires either an alternative menu or cooking process to be followed.

Medical products and devices – when you see a medical professional you expect to be looked after. But sometimes this doesn’t always happen. We have experience in defective product claims as a result of faulty joint replacements, breast implants, vaccine damage, intraocular lenses, laser eye surgery and serious side effects of medicines that have not been properly tested.

Our specialist defective product lawyers have decades of experience in these types of product claims. They know what is required to fully investigate what happened and use the best experts to back up your case. 

The team will work to determine who is responsible for your injuries. This could be the manufacturer of the item, the retailer that sold the product or in the event that someone else installed the product – this could be in your car or home – a third party who incorrectly installed the product leading to your injury. 

What is considered a defective product? 

A product is considered defective if it does not meet the safety standards that a reasonable person would expect. A defect can be caused by a manufacturing fault, a design flaw, failure to perform as safely as other products of the same type or inadequate warnings or instructions.

What is the time limit for product liability claims? 

Generally, speaking you have 3 years from the time you suffered an accident or injury due to a defective product to make a claim. In the case of a child, this 3-year period will only start to run when the child turns 16.

It should be noted that the claim must also be settled or raised in Court within a period of 10 years from the point the product in question was put into circulation by the producer. This longstop of 10 years can be important where the injury doesn’t arise when the product is still new.   

The importance of making a product liability claim

The Consumer Protection Act of 1987 states that if a product causes a personal injury and the injury was not caused by misuse, you have a legal right to claim product liability compensation from either the retailer or manufacturer responsible. 

Even if the product was manufactured overseas it is the responsibility of the retailer and the company importing the goods into the UK to ensure that they are safe and fit for purpose.

The product liability claims process brings faults or errors of a product to the attention of the manufacturer and retailer so they are then able to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. 

In many cases, this can mean fixing the problem or in some cases, a full product recall may be considered.

  • Negligence: Negligence claims arise when the manufacturer or distributor of the product failed to exercise reasonable care in the production or distribution of the product. 
  • Breach of contract: Breach of contract claims arises when the product does not meet the terms of the contract between the manufacturer and the consumer. 
  • Strict liability under the Consumer Protection Act: Strict liability claims arise when the product is defective and causes harm to the user, regardless of whether the manufacturer was negligent.

How can Digby Brown help with my product liability claim?

If you find that you or a member of your family has been injured by a defective product then Digby Brown has a team of personal injury solicitors who specialise in product liability claims.

The team is here to help with the support you may need following a defective product injury or illness caused by a dangerous product.

The Product Liability team can assist with more than just product liability compensation for your injury. It can help with:

Rehabilitation

We can arrange for rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy, to help improve your recovery. As well as any other care needs you may have following an injury caused by a product that was faulty.

Loss of earnings

If you’ve been forced to take time off work because of your injuries and lost income, we can include this as part of your claim. This will make sure that you aren’t left out of pocket through no fault of your own.

Damage

In simple terms if the faulty product has caused any damage to your property then we can recover the cost of this for you as part of your product liability claim.

We recommend that you report the faulty product either to the retailer you purchased it from or the manufacturer. If you’ve found yourself the victim of food poisoning you should report this to the restaurant or retailer that sold you the food as well as your local Environmental Health Department. 

Where possible you should keep hold of any documents which show proof of purchase, this could be a receipt or email invoice, and take pictures of the item and the defect that caused the injury as well as the injury itself. It is important to take pictures, particularly when the fault is something like a foreign object in food, to help strengthen your case. 

If possible you should keep the product along with its original packaging and any other relevant information such as a user manual or instructions and any communication you had in relation to the faulty product.

Our solicitors will be able to use this information alongside our own investigation, to help build your case. We understand that your injuries, no matter how severe, matter to you. That is why it is our job to do everything we can to help you get your life back to as close to before you were injured as we can. 

Mr Robinson was out for dinner when he bit into an industrial bolt that was mixed into the food he was eating. This led to multiple injuries and after initially denying liability the Digby Brown Product Liability team was able to secure an admission of fault alongside compensation for Mr Robinson.

Aidan Spence was on his way home from a garage after an MOT when the bonnet of his car flapped up while he was driving. This smashed his windscreen and led to chest and back injuries. Via thorough investigations, our team found mechanics failed to close the bonnet properly. Proving this negligence meant we were able to secure Mr Spence a four-figure sum for his injuries.

Dorothy had been out on her new bike when the chain wrapped around the pedal after the retailer she purchased it from assembled it incorrectly. This act of negligence led to numerous injuries. Our specialist solicitors were able to secure £6,150 after liaising with medical experts to fully assess the impact of her injuries.

No win, no fee personal injury solicitors

The expression “No win, no fee” is often used in personal injury cases.  It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful. 

In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.

Compensate 'no win, no fee' funding

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.

If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing

On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer

Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.

In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website.

Beware of compensation offers which may be too good

We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.

  • How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
  • If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
  • Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
  • If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
  • It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
  • These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.

We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value. 

Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.

Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown

Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.

Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.

Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about no win, no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.

Why should I use Digby Brown for my product liability claim?

Digby Brown is a law firm with seven offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Aberdeen, Inverness and Ayr. We have over 100 specialist solicitors who specialise only in personal injury claims, meaning you can be safe in the knowledge that your product liability case is in the hands of an expert. 

Digby Brown is an Accredited Practice with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), and around half of the personal injury lawyers who are accredited through APIL in Scotland work at Digby Brown.

Mark Gibson, head of the Product Liability team, is the only Scottish member of the APIL Product Liability Specialist Interest Group and is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in Personal Injury Law.

This is in addition to Digby Brown being recognised by Chambers & Partners for the last 18 years, The Legal 500 for 14 years, a number of awards and one of the highest rated legal firms on Trustpilot in Scotland.

The Legal Enquiry Team is open seven days a week and can be called on the number below or can call you back if you complete an enquiry form.

We are here to help and know that if it matters to you, it matters to Digby Brown.

0333 200 5926

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Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

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