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Product Liability versus Personal Injury Claims
An unexpected injury or illness can significantly disrupt your life. In many cases, the actions of another person, company, or even government agency are responsible for the hardships that you experience. If you are injured due to factors outside of your control, you may qualify for legal action.
There are many legal pathways available to injured people in Washington. Two of the most common types of cases are personal injury and product liability lawsuits. While these legal areas may seem similar, there are key differences in product liability versus personal injury claims.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury occurs when a person suffers harm to his or her body, mind, or emotions. If someone else’s negligent actions are responsible for the injury, the victim has the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Common Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are many types of accidents that lead to a personal injury claim. Some of the most common cases include the following.
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Boating accidents
- Premises liability
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian collisions
- Accidents with commercial trucks
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Wrongful deaths
Proving a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury claims rely on the presence of negligence, or a party’s failure to uphold a certain duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws, and property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises.
To prove a personal injury claim, you will need to gather evidence to establish four important facts.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault party breached the duty of care.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages that you can recover in your lawsuit.
What Is a Product Liability Claim?
Product liability claims arise when a person suffers an injury or loss due to a dangerous and defective product. Usually, these products are defective in their design, manufacturing, or warnings and instructions.
Common Types of Defective Products
Many types of defective products can harm a consumer and give rise to a product liability lawsuit. Below are some of the most common items seen in these claims.
- Children’s toys
- Motor vehicles
- Household appliances
- Bicycles and motorcycles
- Car seats, cribs, and other infant products
- Vape pens and electronic cigarettes
- Heavy equipment and machinery
Proving a Product Liability Lawsuit
Unlike personal injury lawsuits, you do not need to establish negligence to prove a product liability claim. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are strictly liable for any injuries that arise due to their defective products.
Instead of proving a breach of duty, you will need to prove the following four facts.
- You suffered injuries or losses.
- The product is defective.
- The product defect caused your injuries.
- You were using the product as intended.
Speak to an Attorney about Your Lawsuit
Whether you qualify for a personal injury lawsuit or a product liability claim, it is important to discuss your legal options with an attorney. A Washington product liability or personal injury lawyer can represent your claim and help you secure the settlement that you deserve.
As soon as possible following your accident, contact an attorney to schedule a free case consultation. At your meeting, your lawyer will carefully evaluate your case and identify your optimal path toward maximum recovery.