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How Does Product Liability Law Work In Washington?

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When purchasing products, consumers in Washington place their trust in the safety and reliability of these items. Whether it’s a vehicle, household appliance, or children’s toy, the expectation is that these products will not cause harm when used as intended. However, when products fail and lead to injury, consumers have grounds for legal action.

Product liability laws ensure that manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are held accountable for selling products that are defective or dangerous. If you were injured by a defective product in Washington, here are the laws that you need to know.

The Three Types of Product Defects

In product liability cases, defects typically fall into one of three categories. These include manufacturing defects, which occur during processing; design defects, which are inherent in the product itself; and failure to warn, which are essentially defects in communication.

  • Manufacturing Defects: These occur during the product’s construction or production, resulting in a product that deviates from its intended design. Even if only a single item is flawed out of thousands, if it causes injury, the manufacturer may be held liable.
  • Design Defects: These flaws stem from the product’s initial design, making it inherently unsafe. A design defect implies that all products made according to this design pose a potential risk, regardless of how carefully they were manufactured.
  • Failure to Warn: This involves products that, while safely designed and manufactured, lack adequate instructions or warnings about potential risks. Without proper communication, misuse and injury is likely to occur.

How To Prove A Product Liability Lawsuit In Washington

How to Prove a Product Liability Lawsuit in Washington

If you believe that you qualify for a product liability lawsuit, you will need to prove a series of important facts, known as elements. These facts are essential for establishing the manufacturer or seller’s liability.

  • The Product Was Defective: First, the evidence must show that the product had a manufacturing flaw, design defect, or lacked necessary warnings at the time it left the manufacturer’s control.
  • You Suffered Harm as a Result of the Defect: Next, you need to demonstrate that the defect led to physical injury, property damage, or both, resulting in compensable damages.
  • The Product’s Defect Caused Your Injuries: There must be a direct link between the defect and your injury. Even if the product is defective, there’s no claim without harm caused by that defect.
  • You Were Using the Product as the Manufacturer Intended: The Product’s Defect Caused Your Injuries: Next, there must be a direct link between the defect and your injury. Even if the product is defective, there’s no claim without harm caused by that defect.

How Long Do You Have to File a Product Liability Claim?

In Washington, the statute of limitations for product liability claims is three years from the date of injury. However, there are circumstances where this timeframe may vary, such as when an injury is not immediately apparent. Always speak with an attorney to ensure your claim is filed within the legal timeframe; otherwise, your case may be dismissed.

Contact a Seattle Product Liability Attorney Today

If you’ve been injured by a defective product, it is essential to seek legal advice promptly. A Seattle product liability attorney can evaluate your case, explain your rights, and help you navigate the complex legal process. With their expertise, you can pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Don’t wait to take action—protect your rights by consulting an attorney today.