When you hear about somebody receiving a personal injury you often picture them having a trip or fall, or even being unfortunate enough to have been caught up in a car accident.
Although those are common ways in which millions of us become injured every year, many of us are also suffering at the hands of the items we bring into our home that have become faulty and malfunctioned in such a way that they cause us an injury. It’s even been suggested that this could be one of the reasons why commercial insurance rates are rising, due to them having to pay out for customer injuries on behalf of the company at fault.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t understand the product liability law which can work to protect you and earn you the compensation you deserve after being injured by a faulty item in your home. Below we’ve detailed the three actions you must take (and the order in which you must take them) after becoming injured to increase the likelihood of your claim going through.
1) If You Require Hospital Treatment, Take It
Now isn’t a time to “tough it out.” If you receive an injury by using a product within your home and you believe you require hospital assistance, you should absolutely take it. Why? For a number of reasons:
- You're injured: Simple enough; if you’re injured you need whatever treatment is necessary to patch you up and reduce any infection you may have received.
- It helps prove, later on, how injured you were: When making your injury claim it helps a great deal if you can show that your injuries were bad enough for you to require hospital care.
- You’ll receive (or should ask for) a written report from your doctor, and/or the emergency services: This report will serve you well when making your claim as it’ll list your injuries in specific detail. You can get hold of it later, but it’s much easier to get a copy at the time.
2) Determine if the Product was at Fault
Almost any product within your home can be at fault, it’s just the circumstances around the product that determine if any third-party (aka the product’s manufacture) can be held accountable for its fault.
For a product to be liable for an injury it caused you there has to be evidence beyond no-doubt that your injury was caused by the product you’re accusing of causing your injury. If there’s doubt in a solicitor’s mind that this is the case they’ll advise you that your chances of receiving compensation are low. Under product liability law this doesn’t include products that were:
• Being used inappropriately by you at the time of the accident: If you were using a vacuum cleaner to suck up water and became hurt, for example, this is rightly deemed to be an injury of your own making.
• Clearly worn out and old: If it’s clear that a product was too old to reasonably be expected to work properly, the product can’t be held accountable for your injury.
3) Contact a Solicitor
If you’ve determined that the product was definitely at fault you must contact a solicitor (preferably one which deals with product liability claims) right away. The sooner you contact a solicitor, the sooner you can push ahead with your personal injury claim. It should be noted that either you or your solicitor are obliged to contact the distributor or manufacturer of the product you were injured by to let them know of your injury and the specifics of the defects to prevent anybody else being injured by the same product.
Once you’re in touch with a solicitor the success of your claim will be on their shoulders. You should provide them with all the information they need, when they need it, but for the most part you must let them, the professionals, do their job and win you the most compensation they can.
In conclusion, if you get injured while using a product there are three things you have to do right away. Firstly, if you require hospital treatment, by all means take it. Secondly, you must determine if the product is at fault. Thirdly, you must contact a solicitor to help deal with your claim.
By Olivia Breen