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Product Liability versus General Liability

Colburn Law

Washington businesses can face consequences if their actions or the actions of their employees cause harm to others. When a business injures a person or damages his or her property, the victim has the right to file a lawsuit against the entity and recover compensation for his or her losses. 

Just like motor vehicle drivers and property owners, businesses typically carry insurance policies to protect their finances in these situations. There are several types of liability insurance that a business may purchase, including general liability and product liability coverage.

What Is General Liability Insurance?

Also known as business liability insurance, general liability insurance is one of the most common forms of coverage that companies purchase. These policies pay for all general claims involving bodily and property damage that arise due to the actions of a business or its employees.

For example, say that a person slips and falls due to a hazard at a business’s commercial property. If the victim files a slip and fall lawsuit, the company’s general liability insurance policy will pay for his or her settlement or jury verdict. This policy will also cover the business’s attorney fees and court costs.

Product Liability versus General Liability

What Is Product Liability Insurance?

Product liability claims arise when a company’s product is defective in its design, manufacturing, or warnings and instructions. People who are injured due to these defects have the right to file a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer, distributor, or retailer.

General liability coverage does not always pay for lawsuits that arise due to defective products. Instead, the company may need to buy an additional policy for product liability claims. As settlements in product liability lawsuits can reach hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars, it is in a company’s financial interests to invest in this coverage.

For example, say that a manufacturer builds a car seat, but the buckle is extremely flimsy due to the product’s design. Under Washington’s product liability laws, the manufacturer would be strictly liable for any injuries that occur due to the defective belt buckle.

In this situation, the company could face numerous lawsuits, which could lead to significant hardship if it needed to pay for settlements out of pocket. Its product liability insurance would be responsible for paying the settlements to the victims and their families. 

Were You Injured by a Defective Product?

If you were injured by a defective product, you can suffer from significant injuries and losses. However, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the manufacturer responsible for the defect and recover compensation for the damages that you experienced.

Unlike other types of claims, manufacturers of defective products are strictly liable for any injuries that arise. This means that you do not need to prove the company’s negligence or maliciousness in order to secure compensation. Instead, you will need to prove the following facts.

  • You were injured or suffered losses.
  • The product is defective
  • The product defect caused your injuries.
  • You were using the product as the manufacturer intended.

Proving a defective product claim can be a challenge. These cases often require extensive evidence and deep knowledge of product liability law. In these situations, you need a lawyer who can represent your claim and craft a compelling case in your favor.

As soon as possible following your accident, contact a Washington product liability attorney to discuss your case. Your lawyer will carefully evaluate your situation and help gather the evidence necessary to prove your right to recovery.