What is Product Liability?
Product liability cases are filed when an inherently defective product causes harm to a consumer. Although products are generally thought of as tangible personal property, some cases have defined houses, pets and even human blood as products. In many product liability cases, any party who contributed to the distribution of a defective product can be considered liable. For example, the manufacturer of a product’s parts, the store owner who sells the product or the wholesaler may all be held liable in a product liability case.
What Situations Need a Washington Product Liability Attorney?
The Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute states that product liability claims can be centered around a breaking of the item’s warranty, failure to warn or act prudently, or strict liability. Depending on the exact scenario of the alleged case, a lawsuit will fall into one of the aforementioned categories. Most product liability cases, however, fall into the category of strict liability, indicating that someone who has been injured is using the courts to hold someone else legally responsible for the harm caused.
If an item is found to be defective, this malfunction must necessarily have occurred in one of three stages in the product’s development: the marketing, manufacturing or design. A product is innately defective if the flaw is found to be with its design, while it may be only selectively defective if the flaw is found in its manufacturing.
The Types of Loss That May Be Claimed
If consumers have been the victim of harm from a product that they purchased or used, then they may be able to recover either their basic economic losses or losses related to personal injury, emotional and mental health, or trauma connected to the incident. Economic losses might include medical bills and treatments, time spent not working, the costs of the offending item’s replacement or repair, and the loss of property use. Other, non-economic losses are typically more subjective. These might entail pain and suffering on the part of the victim, along with loss of function or enjoyment of life caused by the incident.
How a Washington Product Liability Attorney Can Help
Product makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a product maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by a defective product may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.