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Seattle Product Liability Lawyer

Have you suffered a debilitating injury as a result of a malfunctioning or unsafe product? Are you constantly asking yourself, who is liable? You’re not alone—the Fang Law Firm Seattle product liability attorneys have a decade of experience in litigating product liability cases. Call us today at (206) 489-5140 if you’re injured or out of work due to an unsafe product.

Injuries from the use of a product can be debilitating and life changing. They could even result in death. Manufacturers have a legal responsibility to their customers to ensure their product is safe and free from injury causing malfunctions.

Seattle Product Liability Attorney

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Why Choose Us for a Seattle Product Liability Claim?

  • We win: We have a 98 percent success rate in over 10,000 cases, we will get you the compensation you deserve.
  • We’re risk-free: The Seattle injury attorneys at The Fang Law Firm work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay unless we win.
  • We’re available 24/7: Our attorneys will handle your product liability case personally and return every call within 24 hours.

What is Product Liability?

Product liability is a complex topic; many people are unaware that they even have a cause of action. Under RCW 7.72.030, the manufacturer of a product is liable for damages or harm caused to a claimant if the product malfunctions and was the proximate cause of the harm inflicted on the claimant. A product is the proximate cause of an injury if the product is the main culprit or the remote cause of injury. Our Seattle product liability lawyers are knowledgeable on product liability claims under Washington law. If you feel like your injury resulted from a defective or malfunctioning product, call us today.

What Damages Can I Recover for a Product Liability Claim?

Under Washington law, claimants who suffer from injury or death due to a malfunctioning product can recover financially from the manufacturer. Our experienced Seattle product liability attorneys will fight for the financial compensation you deserve. The damages available for claimants suffering from a defective or malfunctioning product include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Wrongful death
  • Disability payments
  • Much, much more.

We will work with you to determine your goals and desired outcomes; The Fang Law Firm is unique from other Seattle product liability firms because we have a client-first mentality. We work for a result that is best for you, not us.

How Long Do I Have to File a Defective Product Claim?

A product liability action has a statute of limitations of three years in the state of Washington. Washington’s statute of limitations law means that you must file your complaint with the court within three years of the original injury. Our attorneys work efficiently and diligently to ensure you receive the justice you deserve, no matter how much or how little time you have left on the clock.

Types of Defective Products

Despite many federal agencies in place to protect consumers from defective products including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many products on the shelves are later found to be defective when they cause safety hazards and injuries. 2022 saw historic rises in product recalls including medical device, automotive, and pharmaceutical recalls as well as consumer household product recalls, which were at their highest in over 5 years. Some of the most common defective products include the following:

  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Children’s toys
  • Children’s sleep products
  • Cleaning products
  • Household appliances
  • Industrial equipment
  • Ladders
  • Child car seats
  • Strollers
  • Highchairs
  • Airbags

These and other products may have design defects, manufacturing defects, and inadequate warning labels that lead to significant injuries for consumers.

Common Injuries From Defective Products

Many different types of products lead to an unfortunate variety of injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries from defective products include:

  • Head injuries from defective bikes, motorcycles, and helmets
  • Organ damage from defective medications
  • Cancer
  • Choking from defective toys
  • Burns from products with faulty wiring
  • Fractures from products that break or collapse suddenly and cause falls
  • Amputations
  • Death

When an injury occurs due to a design defect, manufacturing mistake, or inadequate warning label or instructions, the at-fault party is liable for the economic and non-economic damages the victims suffered as a result. Medical treatments are expensive and cause lost time at work, resulting in tangible damages known as economic damages. The pain, suffering, and emotional anguish an injury victim experiences may be more difficult to assign a monetary number, but victims also deserve compensation in the form of a financial award for non-economic damages.

What is the Washington State Product Liability Act?

In 1981, Washington passed the Washington State Product Liability Act (WSPLA) to establish a more uniform system to protect consumers from defective products in a way that’s fair and efficient. It accomplishes this by consolidating all liability cases under a set of specific comprehensive claims. Under this law there are three separate legal theories that apply to product liability claims:

  • The Risk-Utility Test is used to prove the failure of a product’s design. The plaintiff must prove that the risk of serious injuries in significant numbers is more costly for the manufacturer than changing the product’s design.
  • The Consumer Expectations Standard is used to show that a product isn’t safe enough for consumers if typical users don’t find it safe enough to be worth the risk after reviewing the data.
  • The Inadequate Warning Label or Instructions theory is used to prove liability when a product’s instructions and/or safety warning labels aren’t sufficient to warn consumers of possible safety hazards. The warning label standard also demands that manufacturers reach out to warn consumers of new safety information even after they’ve purchased a product when new data comes to light.
  • Breach of Warranty allows liability for defective products under contract law when a consumer sustains an injury as the result of a breach of warranty.

In product liability cases in Washington, a skilled attorney identifies which of these standards best applies to the case in order to prove liability.

The WPLA also deals with manufacturer liability by clarifying that the manufacturer is liable when the victim sustains injuries that were “proximately caused by the negligence of a manufacturer.” This may have several interpretations including:

  • As designed, the product was not reasonably safe
  • During the manufacturing process, the product deviated from the original design compared to others in the same line or it didn’t meet performance standards.

How Do I Prove Negligence in a Product Liability Case?

There are many entities that could bear liability in a product defect case, making it a challenge in some cases to determine fault. A Seattle product liability attorney experienced in this area can help determine who is liable for an injury related to a faulty product. Liability commonly lies with the following parties:

  • The designer
  • The manufacturer
  • The company responsible for marketing and selling the product
  • The manufacturer of a particular part or component of the product
  • A company responsible for the maintenance or repair of the product
  • A retailer, distributor, or wholesaler
  • An import company that imported the defective product

In some cases, more than one party may be found at fault in a defective product claim. A defective product lawyer will work to prove negligence in this type of claim by preserving evidence, working with safety experts to prove what went wrong with the product, and determining which entity in the chain between design and distribution is responsible for the defect. Proving liability depends on showing that the product posed a safety risk that the average consumer would not have understood or noticed. Then the plaintiff’s lawyer must prove the following:

  • That the product caused the injury
  • That the product had a defect
  • That this defect is what caused the injury to occur
  • That the consumer was using the product in the way it was intended to be used.

A successful product injury lawsuit also must prove that the injury caused significant harm to the victim and their family, including economic and non-economic damages.

In product liability cases, the court looks at how an average consumer would likely have engaged with the product, whether it was reasonably safe, and whether or not the manufacturer provided adequate warnings about hazards.

What to Do After a Defective Product Accident

The way you react and the actions you take after a defective product injury can significantly impact your ability to gain compensation for your injury. Despite the pain and trauma in the aftermath of an accident, by keeping a cool head you can benefit your physical and financial health. After you’ve been injured by a product you were using appropriately take the following steps:

  • Preserve the product as it is
  • Report the accident
  • Go to an emergency room or see your doctor as soon as possible
  • Preserve your proof of purchase if you have it
  • Document all details of the product, including when and where you bought it, how you used it, and how it failed and caused an accident
  • Obtain all copies of your medical records
  • Keep all medical bills
  • Speak to a defective product attorney about your case
  • Don’t post about the accident on social media

If you’ve been seriously injured by a defective product, you deserve full compensation for the damages you’ve suffered so you can focus on your recovery.

Defense Strategies Commonly Used by Manufacturers in Product Liability Cases

In defective product cases, manufacturers commonly fall back on common strategies to reduce their own percentage of liability including the following:

  • The injury victim used the product incorrectly or not according to the directions
  • The plaintiff knew the product had a defect but continued to use it
  • The product was altered or modified after its initial sale
  • The product was misused and the manufacturer could not have predicted the manner in which the plaintiff used it

If the court assigns a percentage of blame to the plaintiff, the amount of their damages award is typically reduced by that percentage in Colorado’s system of contributory negligence. For instance, if the plaintiff is found to be 25% at fault, they’ll receive 75% of the amount of damage compensation.

Consumer Product Injury Statistics

The Consumer Products Safety Commission reported millions of injuries and thousands of deaths resulting from product injuries each year. In 2020, 28.5 million injuries required hospital treatment, a slight decline compared to 2018-2019, likely due to people remaining at home and less active. Despite this decline in consumer product injuries during the first months of the pandemic primarily due to reduced sports-product-related injuries, 2021 brought 11.7 million product-related injury victims to hospital emergency rooms. These injuries primarily occur due to consumers using products they thought to be safe. Products in the home caused the greatest number of accidents with 3,788,883 injuries.

Often the vulnerable populations of elderly and young children become the victims of defective products found in the household such as toys, cleaning products, yard equipment, appliances, and sleeping spaces like beds, cribs, and infant seats.

Injuries related to construction equipment and other work-related machinery also increased as people returned to work after the pandemic restrictions were lifted. Some of the largest product liability cases in 2022 included:

  • Hernia mesh implants
  • 3M Military earplugs
  • Philip’s CPAP
  • Zantac
  • Roundup weedkiller
  • 3M Bair Huggers post-surgical temperature monitors

These are the most widely publicized cases, but there are thousands of lesser-known cases litigated every year in the United States.

Contact Our Seattle Product Liability Lawyers Today

Call The Fang Law Firm today to discuss your product liability claims. We have over ten years of experience in product liability litigation, and we win. The Fang Law Firm is different from other Seattle products liability firms because we don’t pass you off to our support staff; our Seattle product liability lawyers will work with you every step of the way until we settle your case or win at trial.

We won’t let product manufacturers use scare tactics to bully you into settling for less than you deserve. You won’t have a better advocate than the Seattle product liability attorneys at The Fang Law Firm. Call us today at (206) 489-5140 to discuss your options.

The Fang Law Firm offers 100% remote and contactless meetings & representation.