How do I make a product liability claim?

If you’ve been injured by a faulty product, you may be able to make a compensation claim against the manufacturer. In this article, we take a look at how to make a product liability claim along with some recent examples of defective product liability.

As consumers, we all have a right to expect that the products we buy are not faulty or dangerous to use. Defective product liability is the term which describes the obligation that a manufacturer has to consumers. If a product is faulty and causes injury, then a claim can be made under Australia’s product liability laws.

How do you make a claim?

Defective product liability claims can be made under Australian Consumer Law, which protects consumers from unsafe and defective products. Claims can also be made under common law, where a consumer can sue a manufacturer for negligence.

If a defective product liability claim is successful, damages may be awarded for loss of income, medical treatment costs, domestic care, and for your pain and suffering.

It’s important to speak to an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as possible so that you can get the right advice on what to do. The claims process can vary depending upon the type of product and how it was used. It can also take time to collect the right evidence to help build your case.

Examples of product liability claims

Consumer claims for compensation can arise from a wide range of products if they have a safety defect. Some examples of product liability claims include claims for injuries caused by faults found in products such as:

  • Children’s toys and clothing
  • Medical products
  • Vehicles, including cars, motorbikes and trucks
  • Household appliances and power tools
  • Cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
  • Batteries
  • Chemicals

Product warnings and recalls

Product warnings and recalls are used by the consumer watchdog —the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)— to warn and protect consumers from products that could be potentially risky and defective.

A recent high-profile example of a product safety warning was for motor vehicles that were fitted with potentially defective airbags. There has been a recall for these airbags, which had been installed in a wide range of vehicles. You can check this list to see the vehicles affected by this recall.

Quad bike safety is another concern for the ACCC. They have been investigating the quad bike industry and will make final recommendations to the government later in 2018.

Faulty electrical cabling is another concern as it can place households at risk of fires and electrocution. The ACCC has issued a warning that thousands of households may currently be at risk due to these defective cables. A national recall on these cables has been in place since August 2013.

Safety standards and bans for consumer products

Safety standards are an important tool that the government uses, which ensures that consumer products meet certain safety requirements before they can be legally sold.

For example, the safety standard for children’s nightwear excludes garments made from highly-flammable materials. It also requires that children’s nightwear come with clearer labelling for these fire warnings.

The safety standard issued for baby dummies and dummy chains is another example. The standard addresses the well-known risk of choking and strangulation that dummies pose. Since its introduction in 2006, there have been fewer injuries and no deaths caused by defective dummies.

Bans are also in place for certain consumer products that are deemed too dangerous. A recent example is the ban on the sale of portable ethanol burners, which follows the reports of injuries and fire incidents across Australia.

Do you need to speak to a product liability lawyer?

If you need to speak to a senior product liability claims lawyer, then be sure to call our friendly team at NSW Compensation Lawyers on (02) 9601 0088.

See how we can help you

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