There are three necessary elements to prove when bringing a claim arising out of an injury caused by a defective product. These are as follows:
- Damage took place;
- The product was defective, and;
- The defect and damage/injury were linked.
All product liability claims start in the Personal Injuries Assessment Board just like Personal Injury Claims. It is rare that the Injuries Board will make an assessment of damages. This is usually based on the strong defence of a manufacturer or retailer that their product caused injuries. The Injuries Board will then issue an Authorisation permitting your solicitor to issue court proceedings on your behalf.
Under The Liability for Defective Products Act (1991) an injured party has 3 years within which to bring a claim. The Act states that the ‘producer’ of a defective product will be held liable for any damage caused. A producer may include:
- the manufacturer or producer of a finished product
- the manufacturer or producer of any raw material
- the manufacturer or producer of a component part of a product
- a person who processes soil, of stock-farming, fisheries or game products
- any person who puts their name on a trademark
- any person who has imported the product into a Member State from a place outside the European Communities
Claimants do not need to prove negligence by a producer; however, they do need to show that the product was defective and the link to the injury caused. This can be difficult to do without the aid of an experienced solicitor.
If you have been injured by a defective product, seek medical attention, take pictures of the product and any injuries sustained. This can include product labels/instructions. If possible, preserve the defective product as an engineer may need to inspect the same.
If you have any questions in relation to this article, contact one of our experienced solicitors who can clarify the same.