Based regionally, Consumer Direct used to provide consumers with practical, clear advice on all kinds of consumer issues, from faulty household appliances to cars and anything in between. Unfortunately, this service was closed at the end of March 2012. Today, consumers can find advice concerning product liability by contacting Trading Standards or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Basic consumer rights
If a recently purchased product is found to be defective, the consumer has the right to return the product to the store it was purchased from and receive a refund. Should the defective item have led to a personal injury, the consumer is also entitled to claim for compensation. Depending on circumstances, the store or the manufacturer of the faulty product may be held liable to pay this compensation.
Injury by a faulty product
If, for example, the wiring inside a new cooker is faulty, and the consumer is subsequently injured by electrocution when using the appliance, he or she would be entitled to claim personal injury compensation.
Dangerous product compensation
Another example of a defective product causing harm would be an exploding gas heater causing a fire and injuring a consumer. Again, the consumer would be eligible for accidental injury compensation.
When claiming for compensation, consumers have to prove that their injury was caused by a new, defective appliance or product. Proof of purchase will be required, and having photos of the defective equipment and the damage and/or injuries it has caused will also be helpful. If there were witnesses to the injury by defective product, relevant statements and contact details should also be secured. Seeking medical assistance is vital, as medical records will document the injury and its extent.
Claiming for expenses
Often, additional expenses like prescription or travel costs to attend medical appointments, for example, are incurred. In order to include these expenses in a public liability claim, receipts for these expenses should also be obtained and kept in a safe place.
Consumer champion Esther Rantzen, the famed TV personality, is the patron of Accident Advice Helpline. Her advice to anyone who was injured by a faulty product is to call this law firm and discuss the situation with one of their friendly advisers on 0800 689 0500. In the business of procuring compensation for consumers for more than 15 years, Accident Advice Helpline provides expert legal assistance on a no win no fee* basis. The advice line is available 24/7, and calls are confidential, free and without obligation.
Date Published: March 5, 2014
Author: David Brown