Recent news articles have highlighted the fact that the appliances that we rely on in the kitchen may not always be as safe and reliable as you would hope. Australians have access to a great range of legal protections under the Australian Consumer Protection laws. If you do get hurt by an appliance here are some of the options for getting compensation for the time and cost associated with your faulty appliance.
Apply directly to the company or retailer for a refund
The first and easiest way to get compensation is to apply directly to the company. Write a comprehensive letter detailing what has happened and include any photos of the incident. If you are not comfortable composing the letter yourself it can be useful to get some assistance from a lawyer who can help you to write a great letter to the company. This is a great first step even if the case ends up needing further legal steps.
Directly sue the company for pain and damages
You can directly sue the company for both the cost of the appliance and/or repairs to the appliance, as well as the costs associated with any medical treatment (including lost earnings). You may also be able to sue for damages if the injury you have experienced with the appliance has been painful and distressing. Given the high costs and time commitment, this makes the most sense as an option if you have had a large personal cost from this incident as well resources (time and money) to pursue the matter.
Join a class action
If there are a large number of people who have had similar issues with their appliances you may be able to join a class action. In this case, there is a lower time and monetary commitment, and it tends to be more efficient as one set of lawyers takes on the case of a large number of applicants. This can often an effective option if you have limited time and funds to pursue the matter. Your experiences and reports can help to supplement the overall strength of the legal case against the manufacturer and you can share in any money received by the claimants in a settlement.
Any item that you buy in Australia should be fit for purpose, and last as long as is suggested by both the product description and the price of the item. If you are hurt by an appliance you have a range of legal options open to you to enforce your rights as a consumer.Share