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A defective product liability claim arises when a person sustains a personal injury because of a design or manufacturing error which was not identified before the product was released for sale.Tell Us About Your Case
According to the Liability for Defective Products Act, 1991, the onus lies on the injured person to prove how the accident happened. They also must show that the defect caused the sustained injuries. Faulty products pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the end user. Product liability laws are not as straightforward as other personal injury claims. Therefore, it is advisable that you speak with an injury claims solicitor to determine whether your case is suitable or not. Goods may be faulty and defective for a number of reasons. More often than not it is the manufacturer who is found liable for any accidents or injuries sustained. However, in some cases, it can be the retailer who sold the product who is found liable if they have been damaged while on sale. An important first step in the claims process is determining who is liable for the cause of the accident. Defective product examples can include vehicles, beauty products, electrical equipment, gardening tools, children’s toys and medical devices.
This Act is in place to determine liability for injuries sustained as a result of a defective product. This Act states that the manufacturer will be held responsible for any damages to either property or an individual caused as a result of product defects. A product is deemed to be defective if it fails to provide for the health and safety of a person. The producer of a product is expected to show a duty of care to all users, especially when determining if a product is defective.
This Act takes the following into account:
It is important to note that a product is not seen to be defective if a better product is made available. When making a defective product claim, it is the responsibility of the injured party to prove that any injuries or accidents were caused as a result of the defects of the product.
A producer will not be found liable if they can prove that the defect which caused the injury did not exist. Especially at the time it was placed on the market or if there was a defect in the design. This is because they may have only provided a component of the product which did not contribute to any accidents or injury.
According to the Liability for Defective Products Act 1991, the producer of a product is generally identified as anybody who:
There are a number of defects in a product that can make it unsafe to use and that have resulted in a product liability claim, the most common three some include;
This is generally as a result of a defective component or material which is used during the manufacturing stages of production. A common cause of this is poor workmanship or using cheaply produced materials which may not be of a high quality. In this case, it will be the producer of the product who is seen as liable for injuries sustained as a result.
This is an issue with the design of the product which makes it dangerous to use. This can still occur even if the product is manufactured correctly with the highest quality materials. This could result in the product being unsafe for the intended use.
This is one of the most common types of product defects. It is generally associated with failing to make people aware of any known hazards or dangers associated with the product. Every retailer and manufacturer has a duty to ensure that all consumers are notified of any risks. An easy way to communicate this to the customer is to place warning labels on the product. Which outlines any important information that is needed to ensure the safe use of any product.
Some of the common injuries sustained in defective product liability claims include:
Using defective materials is one of the leading causes of faulty products. This can lead to the product breaking or causing injury to the person using it. This can occur even if only one of the components is defective. The manufacturer has a duty of care to ensure that this does not happen and that they are using good quality materials.
A poorly designed product can lead to it becoming inherently dangerous to use. This can lead to various injuries being sustained. All products should be designed so that they are practical and safe to use for the purpose intended, and also for anything else that the product can be used for.
Lack of training of manufacturing employees can lead to faulty and defective products as they may not be aware of how to correctly produce the item. It is important that all employees are trained prior to carrying out the task required. Training helps to ensure that products are manufactured correctly and to the highest standard so as to avoid any injuries from being sustained during use. It is up to the employer to ensure that this training is provided to all staff.
All retailers and manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that they make people aware of any known hazards or risks associated with the use of a product. Failing to do so can result in unsafe use which may result in injuries being sustained. If a retailer is aware of any potential dangers which may lead to the occurrence of an accident they should make use of warning signs and labels which clearly outline the information which is to be made available to the customer.
Following an accident at work, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident at work, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to more serious injuries in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
It is critical to report the accident to your superior, i.e. a supervisor or manager on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used for reference in any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents from happening in the future.
If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed your accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where your accident happened.
It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
If you are considering moving forward with a workplace accident claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a workplace accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) for assessment. A workplace accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.
Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist workplace accident solicitor to help you with this.
When you decide you want to move forward with your workplace accident claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:
Solicitors are aware of the workplace accident claim process and can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this process yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.
One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so they can obtain a report on your injuries.
As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your workplace accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next step.
At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:
a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.
b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.
Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.
Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.
At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your workplace accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email email@example.com to tell us about your case.
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If you are to proceed with a workplace accident claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.
General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a workplace accident.
Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages.
The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.Learn more about Time Limits
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