If you have sustained an injury from a defective product you may be entitled to product liability compensation. Under Australian Consumer Law, manufacturers are liable for personal injuries acquired through the use of their defective products.
Below is a discussion of what you should do if you believe you’re entitled to product liability compensation. Claiming compensation can be an overwhelming and complex task, so it is always prudent to seek advice from an experienced product liability lawyer who will ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
When can I make a compensation claim?
You may be able to claim product liability compensation if you received an injury from a product that was defective and not fit for its purpose. If you used a product for a purpose other than what it was designed to do and this results in sustaining an injury, you generally won’t be entitled to compensation.
You can also make a compensation claim for using a defective product that someone else purchased, you do not need to be the owner of the defective product. For example, falling off a defective chair in a restaurant and receiving an injury as a result. These types of situations can also possibly qualify for public liability compensation, if you have been injured we recommend you speak with one of our lawyers who can help you determine which type of compensation is more suitable.
What do I have to prove if I want to claim compensation?
You need to be able to show the product that caused your injury was unsafe for its intended purpose. Essentially, you must prove the product was faulty or defective. For example, if you purchase a phone and the battery of the phone overheats, combusts and burns your hands while you were using your phone to text a message, then you may be entitled to compensation as you were using your phone for its intended purpose.
In determining whether a product is defective, consideration is given to factors such as;
- The purpose for which the product was made and might reasonably have been used;
- The way in which the product was advertised;
- Any instructions, manuals or packaging warnings that came with the product.
Although determining whether a productive is defective seems straight forward, there are situations where this task can become more complicated, hence we recommend you speak with an experienced product liability lawyer.
What type of compensation can I receive?
The type of compensation you’re entitled to will depend on the type of injury you have received. Generally, you would be entitled to compensation for physical or psychological injuries, loss of income as a result of you not being able to work due to your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering and future economic loss. This is not an exhaustive list of the type of compensation you may be entitled to, so we recommend you speak to one of our product liability lawyers.
What will I need to help prove my claim?
We recommend you keep all medical reports and receipts for any treatment you’ve undergone that relates to your injury. It’s also a good idea to keep a diary or journal of how your injuries have affected your day to day activities. If you have any technical reports on the defective product or photos, we also recommend you keep these safely stored in a file.
Do I need a lawyer to assist with my compensation claim?
Although consumers are allowed to lodge claims themselves through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the process of claiming compensation is lengthy, tedious and sometimes confusing.
In order to successfully claim compensation and receive the maximum amount you’re entitled to, we recommend you make an appointment with one of our lawyers who specialise in product liability. More importantly, consulting a lawyer before commencing a claim helps to determine whether your claim has merit so that you do not waste your money and time.
If your claim has merit, your lawyer can begin collecting all necessary medical reports, statements and other relevant material required to prove your claim and ensure proper management of your matter.
If you have been injured from using a defective product, you can claim compensation, if you can show the product was defective and not fit for purpose. Preparing and managing a claim for personal injury can be overwhelming and complicated, which is the last thing you need when dealing with the emotional and physical trauma from your injury. This is why we strongly recommend you seek the assistance of a product liability lawyer.
If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on (02) 9708 2222 or email [email protected].