When we buy something we do so in good faith that it will work properly and fulfil the purpose for which it was made and bought. We also buy it in good faith that the person or company that is selling us the product is genuine and has our best interests at heart as their customers. Indeed, most of the time the things we buy are fine, and there is never any need for matters to be taken any further, but sometimes, faulty products can enter the market and may pose a danger to our personal health and safety. Many people are hurt or have their health affected by faulty products every year in the UK through no fault of their own.
One particular type of product which can cause serious injury and illness is furniture. Furniture is essential for comfortable living as we require it to dine with friends and family, to sit and watch TV or play games, to sleep and to store our coveted personal belongings. Illness and injury should ideally never happen and wouldn’t if all furniture manufacturers ensured that their products were safe for consumers who buy them in good faith that the product they are purchasing is safe. If you have suffered an injury or have been made ill by a piece of faulty or defective furniture, then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
What are my rights as a consumer?
The particular area of law in which distributors, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and others are held responsible for any harm that may come to their customers is known as product liability, and there are currently various pieces of legislation in the statute books in the United Kingdom that provide for faulty products. The Consumer Protection Act 1987, which incorporates the European Product Safety Directive, is perhaps the most well-known of these and allows you to make a product liability claim against manufacturers of faulty and defective products if you are injured by or contract an illness from any product including a piece of furniture.
You could also make a claim against the retailer who sold you the faulty product if they are unable to tell you who supplied them with the faulty piece of furniture that caused your illness or injury. This is only very rarely the case, however, and in most instances, the blame will lie with the manufacturer of the furniture in question. Importers of faulty or defective furniture from other countries as well, as those modifying or customising products by a third party, can also be held accountable for injuries or illnesses caused by such furniture.
Making a faulty or defective furniture claim
To make a faulty or defective furniture claim, there are some things that you should consider first. Your chances of winning are greatly increased if the piece of furniture in question does not have safety warnings attached to it. If the product does carry safety warnings, the manufacturer may be absolved of the majority of liability because you have been adequately warned about the possibility of harm in the event of improper use, although this does not remove all responsibility from the manufacturer. If a faulty product turns out to be counterfeited but bears the name of a genuine manufacturer, this will normally absolve the manufacturer of the genuine goods of any of liability as they are not responsible for criminal acts carried out by individuals outside their company.
If the piece of furniture in question was a piece of self-assembly furniture and you correctly assembled it yourself, the manufacturer may also not be completely to blame. As many complex manufactured products comprise some different parts that are made by different companies but are assembled in the finished product, it can be difficult to determine who exactly is to blame. Furniture is no exception to this rule, and the manufacturers of all the various parts may be ordered to share responsibility and pay their fair share to the victim. Making a product liability claim for a piece of faulty or defective furniture is by no means easy, so we advise you to give us a call so that we can adequately assess your claim and let you know if you have a chance of being awarded compensation.
Examples of injuries and illness caused by defective furniture
There are numerous ways in which very serious injuries, illness, property damage and even fatalities can occur as a result of consumers buying faulty and defective furniture. One such scenario may involve a piece of furniture that catches fire easily due to it being counterfeit and therefore of inferior quality, or a genuine product that has not been adequately fire-retardant tested. Modern regulations compel furniture manufacturers using synthetic materials like artificial leather to ensure that flames self-extinguish within a maximum of four seconds. If this does not happen and the manufacturer does not take the appropriate actions, and a serious fire occurs in the house of one of their customers, they could face severe penalties, and the victim could receive a huge amount of compensation.
Other scenarios may involve a victim receiving an electric shock from a piece of mechanised adjustable electric furniture such as a reclining chair or mattress or a victim having an allergic reaction to chemicals in the fabrics of such things as couches and dining chairs. This is normally the case when the fabric is synthetic, although it may also be the case if the material is natural as certain substances may have been involved in the manufacturing and treatment process. These chemicals may remain in the fabric long after they have been made and treated and this can lead to serious problems if the affected individual is unaware that they are allergic to whatever substance has caused their reaction. Certain types of furniture can also cause broken and fractured bone injuries as well as damage to the soft tissues of the body such as the muscles, ligaments and tendons.
How can compensation be used?
At Tyler’s, we understand all too well that any money you are awarded in compensation is unable to turn back time and make things right again and how they were before. However, this should not put you off making a claim as the money can be used in various ways to help you get back to living a life that resembles the one you led before your accident. The money serves the purpose of putting you back in a financial position that makes it seem as though no illness or injury has ever occurred.
The money can be used to pay for any treatment you may have received while pursuing recovery or any travelling expenses if you have had to travel to medical appointments at the hospital. You may also be awarded for any surgery you have undergone if you have received burns from a fire or chemicals in the furniture’s fabric or from broken or fractured bones. The money can also be used to pay for any alterations you may need to make to your house or car, any loss of earnings if you have had to take time off work as well as for the general pain and suffering you have had to endure.
Give Tylers a call today
Whatever your personal circumstances, if you have been injured or contracted an illness as a result of buying a piece of faulty or defective furniture then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Tyler’s Solicitors have many years’ combined experience in dealing with product liability compensation claims related to faulty and defective furniture. Our expert team of solicitors will do everything they can to ensure that you are awarded the compensation that you are rightfully entitled to and will do all in their power to make sure it is an amount with which you are satisfied. We appreciate just how devastating having an accident or becoming ill as a result of a piece of faulty or defective furniture can be for those affected.
That’s why we’re here to give you a helping hand you need to get back on your feet. To make a valid claim, your accident must have happened, or your illness must have been contracted less than three years ago from initial diagnosis, you must be able to prove beyond any doubt by compiling evidence that you weren’t to blame and, if there was any damage to your property, the cost must exceed £275. If you believe you can do all these things, then you could be in line to receive a considerable compensation settlement. Our solicitors will guide you every step of the way through the claims process and keep you updated should any developments in your case arise to make sure it happens. So give Tylers a call today and let us help you claim the compensation that is rightfully yours.
If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of a piece of faulty or defective furniture, then you may be able to make a claim. Call Tylers today on (freephone): 0800 699 0079 to see if you can make a claim today.