Our Washington DC product liability lawyers help protect you from dangerous products. We also work with you to seek a fair compensation for injuries caused by defective or dangerous products.
You may come across a wide range of defective products. These can include dangerous drugs, e-cigarettes, medical products and devices, automobiles and more. When a product does not function as it should or is not designed to be safe, it can cause mild to serious injuries. In some cases, product defects can even be fatal. For instance, a new automobile with defective brakes can lead to a fatal road accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a faulty product, you must file a product liability lawsuit. Such lawsuit not only offers you a fair compensation, it also serves to protect the community at large. Here is a look at different areas of a product liability lawsuit in Washington, D.C.
Statute of Limitations for Product Liability in DC
The statute of limitations for product liability in Washington, D.C. is three years. This means that you must file a product liability lawsuit within three years from the date when a defective or dangerous product caused injury, death or property damage. Although this applies to most product liability cases, there are some exceptions. If you or your Washington DC product liability lawyers can show that you didn’t discover the injury until at a later date than it happened, the period is calculated from the date of discover and not the date of injury.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Liability claims related to defective or dangerous products can typically be classified into three types. These include strict liability claims, negligence claims and breach of warranty claims.
Strict Liability Claims: In strict liability claims, you essentially hold a manufacturer responsible for failing to meet ‘standard of care’ in manufacturing a product. Liability claims related to design defects are often a type of strict liability claims. This type of claim is quite hard to prove as you have to show that the very design of a product is not good enough. This is typically done by demonstrating a better standard of care across the relevant industry. In some instances, this can put you up against an entire industry with a low standard of care.
Negligence Claims: Negligence claims are based on the concept of duty of care. You are required to demonstrate that the manufacturer or seller owed you a duty of care. This duty was breached and that the breach caused your injury. The injury must be accompanied with quantifiable damages. Manufacturing defect claims are a type of negligence claims.
Breach of Warranty Claims: Breach of warranty claims are concerned with the failure of a manufacturer to communicate or keep a vital fact about a product. For instance, if a product is dangerous to use under certain conditions and the manufacturer failed to notify the consumer about it which resulted in an injury, the consumer can file a lawsuit.
Common Defenses to a Product Liability Lawsuit
When you are filing a product liability lawsuit, you should know the common defenses manufacturers typically use to counter such lawsuits. In response to your damages claim, the manufacturer or seller may argue that the actual injury you suffered wasn’t caused by the product at all. Instead, they may argue, the injury was a result of a misuse of the product.
Another common defense is that you were aware of the risk inherent in a product even if a manufacturer had not made the risk explicit. In both these defenses, the manufacturer or distributor may try to shift the blame to you in order to turn down the claim altogether or argue for a lower compensation amount.
The Consumer Protection Procedures Act
In Washington, D.C., the Consumer Protection Procedures Act is a law that seeks to protect consumers from ‘deceptive and unfair practices’ of the merchants. If you have suffered an injury due to a dangerous or defective product, you can file a lawsuit under this Act. It is best to consult Washington DC product liability lawyers before you decide whether you want to file a lawsuit under this Act. If your lawsuit under the Act is successful, you can expect to be awarded the following damages:
- Punitive Damages. These are damages awarded by a judge or a jury based on the severity of the manufacturer’s fault and the degree to which the manufacturer is found aware of the product danger or defect.
- Treble Damages. In lieu of these damages, you receive $1,500 per violation or triple the amount of the original damages you have incurred. You are awarded the greater of the two amounts.
- Attorney’s Fees. Compensatory damages awarded in a product liability lawsuit cover your attorney’s fees as well.
- Court Injunction Against Manufacturer. The court also issues an injunction against the unlawful trade practice upon which the lawsuit is filed.
- Other Relief. The court may also offer other forms of relief it may deem fit depending on the unique circumstances of a lawsuit.
How Can Washington DC Product Liability Lawyers Help You?
When you file a product liability lawsuit, you have to go up against a manufacturer, seller, distributor or a similar entity. Such entities retain well-paid legal teams that are always ready to turn down any compensation claims made by the consumers. This is why it isn’t easy to secure a fair compensation for defective product injuries.
This is where Washington DC product liability lawyers can help you. Here at Torklaw, we have highly qualified lawyers that work with the unique circumstances of each case. If you consult us, we will create a compensation claim that is backed up with the relevant evidence. This would make it harder for the manufacturer or seller to reject your claim. We also help you negotiate a fair amount of compensation, ensuring that the manufacturer doesn’t underpay you. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our lawyers and discuss your case one-on-one with our legal experts.