Hair Dye or Hair Die?
What to do if you are injured by a defective product
Our guide to making a Personal Injury claim
I confess – I am guilty – Just as guilty as those of us who take a perverse and slightly voyeuristic interest in articles or shows on television about people who have been injured in freak accidents.
Watching these types of horrific accidents can be comforting in that the possibility of suffering such an accident is so remote that we can watch safe in the knowledge that it would never happen to us. .
It seems all the more interesting when the items that cause injury are products that we all use – an everyday product – then we all want to know about it because we all use these products and the personal risk to us appears to be a very real one – something I like to call the “it could have been me” syndrome.
Human beings enjoy an innate level of trust. Every day, millions of us buy goods, appliances and products, trusting that what we pick up from shop shelves and online are not defective. I know I do the same and generally there are no problems with the items bought. We tend not to question or even think twice about the hidden dangers lurking amongst the everyday items we use.
Below, I will discuss what you should do if you find that you have been injured by a defective or faulty product.
Who is responsible?
Thankfully, we do enjoy legal rights that will protect us if we are injured by defective products. The good news is that you can make a claim for compensation and damages for the injuries, pain and suffering you have suffered as well as other losses such as lost earnings or the cost of someone having to take care of you if you have been off sick from work or need specialist care at home as a result of the injury
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having been injured by a defective product, you can claim against either:
A) The producer (i.e. the manufacturers of the products)
B) The retailer (the shops that sells the goods) and
C) An online business that may have made certain misrepresentations or even manufactured the faulty goods wrongly.
So what do you do if it happens to you?
- First and foremost, you need to make sure that you seek immediate medical treatment and advice. This may involve going to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital or popping into your local walk in clinic or visiting your G.P. Remember, your safety is paramount. Make sure you tell them the cause of the injury as far as you are aware and also explain the full extent of your injuries.
It may be that certain symptoms do not arise until sometime after your use of the product. Therefore it may be necessary for you to make a repeat visit to the medical facility. Don’t be afraid to do so. It is very important that the full extent of your injuries are documented by medical professionals as this will make it easier for you to make a claim further down the line.
- Make a note of when and where you purchased the product. If possible, please retain the receipt or proof of purchase. When you come to see us, you should be able to tell us where it is that you purchased the item.
- You should always consider whether the specific product contains safety information on it. Does it say for example in the case of a hair dye, to undertake a patch test or to not use if you have a sensitivity or allergy? Many times it will do, however care needs to always be taken to preserve the product itself and the packaging of the item in case an expert lab analysis needs to be undertaken to establish whether there was some other inherent defect in the product itself.
- You may want to complain to your local trading standards office – Most companies and manufacturers have product liability insurance that may cover damages for your injuries and the legal cost of obtaining compensation.
- If you have any scars or burns, we recommend you also take photographic evidence of the injury and or the product/packaging.
- Retain contact with any witnesses so that you/your lawyers can get a statement from anyone who may have witnessed your injury.
- Contact a specialist Personal Injury lawyer (like myself).
You may be thinking to yourself whether all of this is necessary? After all, we should all be able to confidently rely on the fact that the products we use are safe. But this is not always the case and often you will need to turn to a specialist lawyer to guide you if you have been injured by a defective product.
The law in this area can be complicated and who you decide to make a claim against and how much compensation you will receive is something that a good lawyer will be able to assist you with.
Often, if it is proven that a product is defective and caused your injury, the courts in the U.K will adopt a strict liability approach unless it can be shown that the defect could not have been known at the time.
I have been a personal injury lawyer for some 15 years but I am still amazed by the sheer number of people who are injured by defective products and worse still, some of bizarre and often very serious injuries that can follow. Over the years I have conducted hundreds of product liability claims and helped thousands of people and their families achieve compensation after being injured. Whilst the compensation will not change what has happened, it certainly helps to make up for the anguish suffered and get you bcak on the road to recovery.
My work requires a knowledge of consumer law, the law relating to strict product liability and negligence as well as understanding how to get you the maximum award of damages you are entitled to.
Ultimately, our aim here at Saracens is to ensure that you are happy and that you achieve the maximum award of compensation. If you are injured by a defective product or one that is faulty, call me or come to see me as soon as you can, as any delay may mean that you could be losing out.
Personal Injury – Saracens Solicitors