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Personal Injury, Civil Rights & Insurance Lawyer in Washington
Matthew Albrecht | Founder & Attorney | Albrecht Law, PLLC
Matthew Albrecht
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You May Have a Product Liability Claim if You Were Injured by a Dangerous or Defective Product in Spokane, Washington

Individuals and families use and rely upon a variety of products throughout a given day, acting in faith that their proper use will not cause harm to themselves or their loved ones. Unfortunately, that trust is often broken when dangerous and defective products injure adults or children in the state of Washington. At Albrecht Law PLLC, we understand the needs and concerns of product injury victims, and we help our clients pursue appropriate legal recourse through product liability claims in the aftermath of these unnecessary and unacceptable incidents.

By law, product manufacturers are required to ensure the safety of their products before placing them on the market for consumers. Regardless, as countless product liability lawsuits have demonstrated, the risk of a consumer sustaining an injury due to a dangerous or defective product remains a sad reality. Legal liability has not prevented manufacturers from causing harm to users of their products due to defects in design or lack of adequate warnings regarding safety. Our product liability attorneys at Albrecht Law PLLC help injury victims in Washington hold product manufacturers and designers responsible for their dangerous or defective products.

When harm occurs to an ordinary consumer because a product fails, it can inflict severe physical injury and emotional distress, depending on the type of product and its intended use. If you or a loved one seek to recover damages through legal action against a manufacturer, a personal injury lawyer at Albrecht Law PLLC will represent you with loyal, personalized service and cutting-edge technology. We have represented many clients successfully in these kinds of personal injury cases, and we look forward to helping you pursue fair compensation for injuries caused by inherently unsafe products or product defects.

Washington Product Liability Laws

The Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA) governs product liability laws, outlining the legal principles and obligations related to manufacturers, sellers, and distributors of products.

  • Strict Liability: The WPLA imposes strict liability on manufacturers and sellers for injuries caused by defective products. This means that a claimant does not need to prove negligence; they only need to demonstrate that the product was defective and that the defect caused their harm.
  • Product Liability Lawsuit Statute of Limitations: Under Washington law, there is a statute of limitations of three years from the date of injury to bring a product liability lawsuit, with limited exceptions applying. This is outlined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 7.72.
  • Manufacturer’s Duty: The WPLA specifies the duty of product manufacturers to ensure that their products are safe for their intended use. This duty includes the design, production, and labeling of the products to minimize risks to consumers.
  • Types of Liability: The WPLA addresses various types of product liability claims, including those related to design defects, manufacturing defects, inadequate warnings or instructions, and breach of warranty.
  • Preemption and Federal Laws: State product liability law in Washington may be preempted by federal laws regulating particular products or activities. However, there is a presumption against preemption, as stated in the Washington Civil Jury Instructions.
  • Exclusive Legal Remedy: The WPLA sets forth an exclusive legal remedy for individuals injured by dangerous or defective products.

Common Injuries Sustained in Product Liability Cases

Common injuries sustained in product liability cases in Washington include:

What Type of Compensation May Be Available for Product Liability Cases in Washington?

Under Washington product liability law, victims of defective products can seek compensation for the full extent of their losses, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Medical costs related to injuries caused by the defective product.
  • Lost Income: Reimbursement for lost wages or income due to the injuries sustained from the defective product.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain, emotional anguish, and overall reduction in the quality of life due to the injuries.
  • Property Damage: Any damage to property caused by the defective product.
  • Punitive Damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future, if warranted.

The amount of monetary damages and other types of compensation depend on the specific circumstances of product liability cases and determine the compensation one may seek based on the extent of the harm the defective product caused.

Do I Need An Attorney If a Particular Product Did Not Live Up to Warranty Claims — Or If a Product Defect Caused an Injury?

Whether due to a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or a breach of warranty, when a trusted company’s product causes injury, it can wreak havoc on your entire life. Your recovery may involve significant medical expenses, emotional anguish, pain and suffering, loss of income due to an inability to work, and loss of consortium.

Due to the complexities of product liability litigation, it is wise to consult an experienced attorney who can listen to the details of your unique product liability case and strategize the right approach to pursuing fair compensation — so you can focus on your recovery.

Contact Albrecht Law PLLC to Schedule Your Free Consultation

Regardless of the entity involved in the manufacturing process, the hidden defects, or the warranty failures, you can trust our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Albrecht Law PLLC to handle your case with compassion as we apply our extensive experience with these and other personal injury cases to pursue fair compensation on your behalf. During a free consultation, we will review the details and devise a strategy for seeking compensation based on the unique factors involved in your product liability lawsuit.

Contact us at (509) 495-1246(509) 495-1246 or complete our online form today to schedule your free consultation. We are here to serve you.

Albrecht Law PLLC — Our Clients Are More Than Just Cases

Frequently Asked Questions About Product Liability and Product Liability Claims in Washington

How do I know if I have a product liability claim?

If you have suffered physical, emotional, and/or financial harm or injury due to a defective product, you may have grounds for a product liability claim. The product must have a defect that caused the harm, which could exist in the product’s design or manufacturing, or the product could have had inadequate safety warnings or instructions. The success of a product liability case hinges on establishing that the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the product is liable for the defect. This effort could involve proving negligence, breach of warranty or strict liability. Due to the complexities of a product liability claim, it is crucial to seek guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer who can assess the viability of your claim and prepare a solid case.

How does federal product liability law affect my product liability lawsuit?

Federal law can significantly impact a product liability lawsuit in Washington. While there isn’t a uniform federal products liability law, certain federal statutes and regulations can influence these types of cases at the state level.

One key aspect is the potential for federal statutes to preempt or supersede state claims —  meaning that in some cases, federal law may take precedence over a state law, affecting the legal options available to address a plaintiff’s injury.

For example, Washington courts have found that certain federal statutes preempt state claims in a product liability case. Understanding these preemption issues and how federal laws interact with state laws is crucial when pursuing a product liability lawsuit in Washington.

Additionally, federal product liability regulations and standards, such as those set by agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), can impact product safety requirements and manufacturing standards, which in turn may influence your claim and the determination of liability on the part of the product manufacturer.

Consult an attorney with extensive experience in product liability law to navigate the complexities of the laws at the federal and state levels and their implications for your specific case.

What’s Involved in Product Liability Litigation in Washington?

Product liability litigation revolves around holding a manufacturer or seller accountable after their defective product caused harm to a consumer. Per state law, the WPLA governs these kinds of personal injury cases and outlines the legal remedies for individuals injured by dangerous or defective products. These claims cover defects in design, manufacturing, and inadequate warnings or instructions. Plaintiffs must demonstrate that the defect caused their injury or harm.

Washington courts apply strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty standards to determine liability. A manufacturer, seller, or distributor can be held strictly liable if the product was sold with a warranty and the consumer suffered injuries as a consequence.

In certain circumstances, Washington courts may consider punitive damages in product liability cases, especially when warranted under choice of law principles — a set of rules used to select which jurisdiction’s laws to apply in a product liability case.

What is an express warranty?

An express warranty refers to a specific commitment made by the manufacturer or seller regarding the quality, performance, or characteristics of a product. This warranty becomes part of the basis of the bargain between the buyer and the seller, and it relates to a material fact about the product.

According to RCW 7.72.030, if the express warranty influences the buyer’s decision to purchase the product and is related to an important aspect of the product, it forms the basis for the manufacturer’s liability if the product does not meet the terms of the warranty.

The implications of express warranties can significantly impact the legal obligations and liabilities of manufacturers and sellers under the Washington Product Liability Act.

What is an implied warranty?

An implied warranty refers to an unwritten indication that consumer products are fit for their intended purpose, even if not explicitly stated. In Washington, these implied warranties are often based on the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the WPLA.

The UCC, particularly Section 2-314, establishes the fundamental rule that goods carry an implied warranty of merchantability if sold by a merchant-seller, meaning it’s reasonably fit for the ordinary purposes for which people use such goods. If a product does not meet this standard and causes harm to the consumer, it can lead to liability under the WPLA.

Implied warranties, which can be considered a matter of tort law, contract law, or public policy, help hold sellers and manufacturers accountable for the quality and safety of their products.

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