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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
These and other products may have design defects, manufacturing defects, and inadequate warning labels that lead to significant injuries for consumers.
Many different types of products lead to an unfortunate variety of injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries from defective products include:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
In defective product cases, manufacturers commonly fall back on common strategies to reduce their own percentage of liability including the following:
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.
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:
These are the most widely publicized cases, but there are thousands of lesser-known cases litigated every year in the United States.
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.
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