Our Seattle product liability lawyers help you sue for injuries caused by defective or dangerous products. Such products are a major risk that can cause serious injuries. Some product-related injuries can even be fatal. For instance, if an airbag does not activate when it should, a driver or passenger in the vehicle may be at risk of serious or fatal injuries. In such a case, the responsibility may lie with the manufacturer, the seller or the party tasked with the maintenance of the vehicle.
If you have suffered an injury due to a defective product or lost a loved one for the same reason, you can sue the negligent party. Product liability lawsuits can be filed against more than one entity.
Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA)
The Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA) is a comprehensive piece of legislation that covers product liability lawsuits across Washington State. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to defective or unsafe products, your lawsuit will be covered by WPLA.
The Act specifies different aspects of product-related negligence. It broadly identifies the manufacturer and a seller other than the manufacturer as the main potentially liable parties. As per WPLA, the manufacturer can be held as negligent for the following reasons:
- When the product was not designed to be optimally safe.
- When the product’s design, on paper, was safe but the product was not manufactured in accordance with the relevant standards or specifications.
- When the product didn’t come with suitable instructions or relevant warnings to alert the consumers about possible risks.
- When the product didn’t meet the stated or implied warranty.
So a manufacturer can essentially be held responsible for problems with the design, manufacture, safety instructions and warranty of a product.
Common Hurdles in Product Liability Lawsuits
One of the major hurdles in product liability lawsuits is the presence of multiple liable parties. If a drug company manufactured a dangerous drug, a marketing company then helped launch it and a doctor prescribed the drug, there are three potential liable parties. Each may be held liable if it could be shown that each knew about the dangers of using the drug.
This may look like a problem but it is also an opportunity. The problem is that going against three major entities makes it that much of a legal challenge. It is also harder to pin negligence as the suspect parties may point the finger at each other, or collaborate with each other to have your claim thrown out.
However, with the help of qualified Seattle product liability lawyers, you can turn this into an opportunity. With multiple parties to sue, you can seek compensatory damages from each party for their negligence.
Who Can be Held Responsible for Product Liability in Seattle?
Typically, the manufacturer or the seller of a product is held responsible for defective or dangerous products. However, other parties such as a marketer and the entity recommending the product can also be held liable if it can be shown that they understood the risks or dangers involved.
As per WPLA, you can sue the seller, instead of the manufacturer, in many product liability cases. Some of the scenarios where this is possible include:
- When the seller’s negligence can be clearly demonstrated
- When the seller has violated the express or implied warranty of the product
- When the seller has concealed or misrepresented facts about the product
- When the original manufacturer is bankrupt or simply not in a position to pay damages
- When the seller and manufacturer are related companies
- When the seller sold the product under its own brand name
- When the seller was actively involved in the design of a product with defective design
In all of these cases, WPLA allows you to file a lawsuit against the seller instead of the manufacturer. If you are not sure who should you sue, it is best to consult Seattle product liability lawyers before preparing your case. By identifying the liable party, you can save a lot of time and effort, directing your legal efforts in the right direction.
What Losses are covered By Product Liability Lawsuits?
If you suffer injuries from a defective product in Seattle, Washington State laws allow you to recover the full range of damages from the negligent party. Following are some of the losses covered by product liability lawsuits:
- Medical Costs: Your first concern after an injury should be to take care of the steep medical costs of immediate treatment and long-term recovery. You are entitled to full reimbursement of these costs in the product liability damages.
- Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity: An injury may force you to stop working temporarily or it may permanently prevent you from resuming your work. You can seek damages in lieu of lost wages and lost earning capacity in such a case.
- Wrongful Death: If a defective product has resulted in the death of a loved one, you can seek wrongful death damages. Such damages cover funeral expenses, loss of future income as well a loss of companionship.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages refer to the intangible losses involved in an injury or death. You can seek damages for the pain, depression, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment and emotional suffering you had to face because of the injury.
How can Seattle Product Liability Lawyers Help You?
When you file a product liability lawsuit, you have to go up against the well-paid legal teams of large manufacturers or sellers. On your own, it can be incredibly hard to prove the negligence of the responsible party and get fair compensation. This is why it is important to hire qualified Seattle product liability lawyers before you file a lawsuit. A good attorney will help you gather evidence to back up your claim, identify the responsible party and file a lawsuit without wasting any time. With sound legal advice, you will also be sure that you are seeking a fair amount of compensation. Contact us today to discuss your product liability claim with our attorneys in a FREE consultation.