The success of a faulty product compensation case depends on a whole set of interdependent factors. As such, it can be quite difficult to determine the merits of filing a claim or not. Here are some facts you should know about making claims.
Time limit on claims
Regardless of whether faulty equipment caused injuries in your home or through accidents at work, claiming for compensation must be set into motion within a maximum of three years from the incident. This time limit may, however, be extended if the incident involved an individual who was a minor at the time.
Who is liable?
Liability for faulty or unsafe equipment may lie with the retailer selling the product or the manufacturer. As a rule, the retailer is contacted in the first instance. If claiming against the retailer is not possible for any given reason, or if the retailer denies responsibility, it is necessary to claim against the relevant manufacturer.
Injuries due to work-related accidents
If injuries are the result of work accidents, your employer may be deemed liable. This is particularly the case if necessary equipment checks/ maintenance have not been performed regularly. Injuries at work do not necessarily have to be the immediate effect of an accident, but may also be caused by long-term exposure to excessive noise, vibration and other factors detrimental to workers’ health.
Responsibility to prove liability
The responsibility to prove that injuries through accidents at the workplace, in public or in your home were due to faulty products initially lies with you. This means proving that you followed instructions, safety precautions and so on when using the product. In other words, you are required to prove that the incident and subsequent injury was due to the product being faulty, rather than misuse on your part.
Regardless of whether injuries were caused by accidents at work or elsewhere, you are required to provide relevant evidence of the injury. This includes photographs, written evidence and witness statements. Work-related accidents must be reported to and recorded by the individual responsible for doing so within your company as soon after the incident as possible. You should also seek medical assistance and request a report detailing your injury, the effect it is likely to have on your ability to work and what treatments/ medication you were given.
What you can claim?
Depending on the circumstances, you could well be entitled to claim compensation for the injury itself, as well as anxiety or stress caused by the incident/ injury. Costs relating to medical treatments, loss of earnings and so on may also be considered in the calculation of your compensation.
Initiating compensation claims
Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm offering advice via a free-phone number. This number can be called 24 hours a day, Monday to Sunday, for relevant advice/ assistance in complete confidentiality and without obligation.
Date Published: September 24, 2013
Author: David Brown