- Learn About The Law
- Consumer Law
- Consumer Protection
- What if a product hurts someone or damages something?
What if a product hurts someone or damages something?
Sometimes a faulty product may harm people or damage other things (for example, if an electrical appliance catches fire and damages your home). In this case, different laws apply, relating to what is called 'product liability'.
If a product injures someone or damages something, the manufacturer (or the importer) is responsible, under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. However, if the retailer cannot tell you who the manufacturer or importer is, the retailer will be responsible.
The Act says that you may be able to claim compensation if faulty goods cause injury or damage to property (as long as the damage amounts to at least £275). You cannot claim if you bought the item more than ten years ago. Remember that you may need to claim separately against the seller for damage to the product itself (under the Sale of Goods Act), because this is not covered by the Consumer Protection Act.
To claim against the manufacturer or importer, you have to prove that the product:
- was 'defective' (it was less safe than you could reasonably expect, not just that it was of poor quality); and
- caused the damage or injury.
You may need an independent expert to confirm that the damage was caused by the product being defective.
If a product has caused serious injury to someone, you will need specialist legal help from a personal injury solicitor.
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Although advertising is required by companies in order to attract custom, some companies set out to mislead consumers with their advertisements by trying to sell goods or services that are not what they purport to be. These types of advertisements are against the law.
Codes of practice are important because they help to ensure that you, the consumer, get a fair deal from a trustworthy business. On this page you will find out about the schemes in place throughout the UK.
What do you do when you want to know where a product comes from, how it was made, or whether the workers were properly paid? You look at the label! Here we explain what labels companies are allowed to use, and give you some tips for logos to look for.
Identity theft, online fraud and credit card fraud have increased dramatically in recent years. There are a number of simple steps you can take to prevent criminals or fraudsters getting the information they need to steal money from you or use your identity.
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If you download a song, film, game or software from a file-sharing website or another website (such as a page on a social-networking site) where it's made available, and you do not pay for the item or otherwise obtain it under licence from the copyright holder, then you are infringing someone's copyright.