All of us are consumers in one way or another. As such, none of us are exempt from possible damages or injuries due to a faulty or defective product. The state of Washington has strong laws in place to protect consumers, and in January 2021, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson pushed for even stronger protections involving price gouging and strengthening the Consumer Protection Act.
If you’ve recently had an accident due to a defective product and are in the Seattle, Washington area, I can help you file a claim and advise you on the best approach to get the compensation you deserve. At The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III, I have years of experience in Washington state laws and purposefully keep my practice small to better support the needs of my clients, no matter how big or small their case.
Product liability claims occur when a consumer is injured in some way by a product and seeks financial recompense from the seller, manufacturer, or suppliers. The guidelines surrounding such claims are complex, and each case demands a thorough knowledge of the laws involved, both on the state and federal level.
The Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA) was passed into law in 1981 and has since worked to protect consumers from faulty or defective products. However, the law still has a number of ways it can be interpreted. According to the WPLA, a product must be considered “reasonably safe” to an ordinary consumer, and it’s up to the victim to prove the manufacturer or seller didn’t exercise reasonable care when producing the item.
To increase your chances of a successful claim against a defective product, it’s always best to retain an attorney well versed in personal and consumer injury. This is especially true if you’re going up against large companies that have a team of lawyers working around the clock for them.
Most product liability claims fall into one of three categories:
Design Defects: These are defects that are inherent to the actual design of the product. As such, liability typically doesn’t lie with the manufacturer or seller.
Manufacturing Defects: These are defects that occur during the manufacturing process such as faulty construction or parts.
Failure to Warn: Failure to warn defects occur when the manufacturer or seller neglects to include adequate warnings about a potentially harmful component or function of the product that isn’t immediately obvious to the consumer.
The concept of strict liability is essential in building a successful case. It states that the plaintiff is not required to prove negligence on the part of the seller or manufacturer. Even if the defendant has done everything possible to protect against such defects and potential harm, they can still be held liable for defects and injury.
Filing product liability claims will differ from state to state as each has its own laws governing consumer safety standards. In my nearly 20 years of practice within the state of Washington, I’ve been able to take on large companies and manufacturers and fight for the consumer's best interests.
In Washington, you have three years from the date of injury to file a claim. This may seem like a long time, but many people don’t realize right away that this option is available, and those using an attorney will need to devote some time to building up the strongest case possible. If you’ve been injured, don’t wait any longer to start your claim since it will almost always be denied if you exceed the three year limit.
Depending on your case and injuries sustained, you may be able to receive multiple damages. The first type are economic damages like medical bills due to your personal injury, income lost due to time off work, or property damage. There are also non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, hardships, or emotional distress.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a defective product and you’ve suffered economic or emotional hardships because of it, reach out to The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III to talk with someone well versed in personal injury and product liability claims. Though my office is in Seattle, Washington, I’m proud to serve everyone throughout Western Washington, including the Puget Sound area, Bellevue, Tacoma, and Everett.