Sometimes an injury, whether at home, on the go or at work, is caused not by your actions but a product you were using. Injuries caused by equipment defects can be devastating, resulting in permanent disability, lost time at work and serious psychological damage.
Whether large or small, if you believe your injury was the result of a manufacturer’s error, you should contact the legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners. With the right assistance, compensation may be available.
A product liability claim is a motion in court that holds the manufacturer of a faulty product responsible for an injury that was the result of its use. A successful product liability claim will involve a compensation package for the injured plaintiff. Compensation typically comes in the form of a lump sum payment. The amount of payment that can be received as a part of a product liability claim is typically based on:
To be eligible to make a product liability claim, a consumer must be able to show that some form of damage occurred and was the result of the product in question. If you have been injured, you should be sure to hold on to the responsible product for future review by an expert and to consult a medical professional. Inform your doctor about how the injury occurred. In some cases, a product liability claim can be part of a larger personal injury claim.
If you are unsure if the circumstances of your injury warrant making a product liability claim, an experienced legal professional can help you determine if your case has merit.
Gerard Malouf & Partners’ solicitors and barristers offer a free consultation and work on a “no win, no fee” basis, meaning there’s never any harm in investigating if your injury qualifies.
Contact us for no-obligation legal advice about your claim.
The product liability claims process typically looks a little different than many other legal proceedings. A case can either be made as a civil proceeding or on statutory grounds. A civil case is based on a breach of an implied contract, in this case the promise that a product is safe for its intended use. In a statutory product liability case, meanwhile, the plaintiff is arguing that the manufacturer ran afoul of Australian law. Typically these cases will be based upon one or multiple provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The burden of proof is typically higher in statutory cases, compared to common law cases. The ACL allows manufacturers to be held liable for the following, amongst other charges:
Under the ACL, a consumer must begin legal action within three years of being injured as a result of a product. Many of the law’s tenets are focused not only on buyer safety but also on establishing consumer trust by making it harder for manufacturers to mislead consumers. As a result, charges can also be brought against a manufacturer that does not correspond to an injury.
To begin action against a manufacturer, a plaintiff will usually file both an application and a statement of claim in court. What parts of the case go in each document vary depending on the court that will be hearing the case. In Federal Court, for example, the application will include a description of the recourse that is being sought, while the statement of claim explains the basic facts of the case.
From there, both sides of the case will submit their written statements and evidence and prepare for their case to be heard by the court. In some cases, the court may request that both parties attempt to find an acceptable resolution in mediation and then present to the court. Only if no compromise can be reached will the case continue.
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Working with legal representation is essential to winning favourable outcomes in the product liability claims process. The legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners is the answer you’ve been looking for. Our lawyers are accustomed to taking on some of the largest manufacturers in Australia, and winning big settlements for our clients.
In one case, our client, a floor tiler operating in New South Wales, was awarded a significant settlement from the manufacturer of the faulty knee pads he was using. The man had been using the knee pads at work when one of the pads rolled to the side as he was picking up a tile, causing substantial damage to his right knee. As a result, the man required surgery that was unsuccessful, leaving him permanently disabled and unable to perform physical work of any kind, including the repetitive lifting, bending and twisting required of a roofer. Ultimately, our client also wound up injuring his left knee as a result of having to overuse it. The totality of injuries included medial meniscus tear of the right knee posterior horn medial meniscus tear, effusion and quadriceps atrophy, subtotal medial meniscectomy and associated scarring, removal of loose flaps of articular cartilage by chondroplasty, distress, psychological injury and shock. The injuries left the man in significant physical, emotional and financial distress and looking for solutions. Luckily, he found Gerard Malouf & Partners.
Our team of legal professionals got to work, first determining that the knee pads had been manufactured for the purpose of long manual labor, as the man had been using them. Once it was established that the man had been using the product correctly when he was injured, and thus had a potential case, we began searching for evidence. To prove liability, we had the knee pads examined and tested by an expert. They were able to show the pad’s latex internal lining could be degraded by sweat and some of the chemicals used in tiling. This made the product unsafe for many of the jobs it was purportedly designed for, including the work our client was doing.
A letter of claim was made against the manufacturer of the product. They undertook their own internal investigations and denied liability in the matter. As a result, our team entered into legal proceedings on our client’s behalf. We gathered expert testimony on the product’s issues, as well as from the man’s doctor on the impact the injuries had had on his quality of life. After the testimony, the court ordered that the case be handled in mediation before proceeding any further, where we were able to secure our client a satisfactory payment that would allow him to live comfortably despite his injuries.
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Any product that causes injury through normal use and hasn’t been manipulated can be described as a faulty product. Regardless of whether this was a television which gave you an electric shock, a model car with a sharp edge or chair with a broken wheel, if you were injured by the product, you can make a product liability claim.
A no-win, no-fee lawyer can help you pursue your case without the financial risk that would usually be associated with a lawsuit.
Opting for a no-win, no-fee legal team means you will only be charged for their services if you succeed in your claim. This takes away a considerable amount of pressure, allowing you to proceed with a case without worrying about how to cover the costs if you lose.
At Gerard Malouf & Partners we have introduced a policy that if any case appears to be overly difficult or unlikely to obtain a good result for the client our lawyers must bring it to the attention of the management team via a detailed pro forms explanation early and then our management team will take all steps possible to ensure it is successful and that we obtain the maximum result for the client.
This is unlike other law firms who often run compensation claims in a mechanical way. At Gerard Malouf & Partners, our personal injury claims services handle each claim thoroughly and comprehensively prepare it in every aspect.
This is more tedious, more complex and costlier for our firm in some ways but the best result will be achieved every time for our clients seeking accident injury compensation service. It is our professional obligation to strive not just for some justice but for the maximum achievable. This is our core philosophy and what differentiates us from other law firms.