Design Defects

When a product has an inherently defective design, it could become a problem to the consumer and even cause injury. Products with significant design defects could potentially cause serious injury as the individual using the item will have no way to anticipate harm and protect themselves against it. In some cases, products with innate design issues could even be the cause of another persons’ death. For example, if a child safety harness has a poorly designed buckle, then the device could fall a part in an accident therefore causing injury or even death.

Every product design company must double, and triple check their merchandise to ensure the design is functional and safe for the general public. Once a product is on the market, consumers will assume it is safe for its intended use. If a person or multiple people are injured or die while a product is out on shelves, then the company who produced the product may be held liable.

Defective Design Attorney, Bellingham WA | Product Liability Law Firm

If you have sustained a serious injury or lost a loved one due to a defective product, call PNW Trial Lawyers. You will need highly skilled legal representation in order to recover completely. The experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at PNW Trial Lawyers have spent years defending those harmed by products including items with defective designs. They understand the industry, what standards products must adhere to, and the laws surrounding the release of products.

To speak to a qualified Washington product liability lawyer, call PNW Trial Lawyers at (360) 483-5201. PNW Trial Lawyers has offices in Bellingham, and accepts clients throughout the greater Whatcom County, Skagit County, and Snohomish County, Washington area.

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Examples of Products with Design Defects

We’ve all seen the nightly news reports of people sustaining serious injury or even dying due to product with a design defect. Unfortunately, it’s clear that injury or death related to defective products is not uncommon in the United States. According to the United States Consumer and Product Safety Commission (USCPSC), approximately three million people are injured by products and approximately 22,000 people have died as a result of their injuries every year.

Listed below are some examples of products with design defects.

  • Unstable furniture that has an unsteady structure
  • Children’s toys and products that contain toxins
  • Car seat for a child failing to stay secure due to faulty buckles/clasps
  • Pharmaceutical drugs with unlisted side effects
  • Kitchen ovens with open wires
  • Sunglasses with faulty UV protection
  • Motor vehicles with a top-heavy body so they are easy to topple over
  • Electric blankets that cause third degree burns or electrocution
  • Small toys that could be choking hazards
  • Defectively designed medical devices

It’s important to take note an injured plaintiff can only file legal action if a foreseeable risk posed by the product could have been avoided by the manufacturer if they adopted an alternative design. This alternative design must be affordable to the company and a feasible realistic option for the manufacturer to be held liable.

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Proving a Product Has a Design Defect

The State of Washington permits injured victims of defective products to file legal action against the manufacturer or any other responsible party for damages. In order to receive a monetary award or settlement, the injured plaintiff will have to file a product liability claim stating the item’s design was defective, and therefore caused their injury. Although it’s the injured victim’s right, it is by no means an easy task. That is why it’s incredibly important any person injured by a defective product should retain legal representation as soon as possible.

An experienced product liability lawyer can assess the facts of the case and collect evidence. They can utilize their skills to prove the following elements in a court of law.

  • The defendant designed the product as intended
  • An alternative design existed that would have been a much safer option for consumers
  • The alternative design was not only feasible but affordable to the company/manufacturer
  • The alternative design would not have changed the function of the product
  • The defendant still chose the initial design despite knowing this information
  • The plaintiff purchased the product and used it as instructed
  • The product’s design was defective for intended use
  • The product’s design ultimately caused the plaintiff’s injury
  • The plaintiff suffered financial, emotional, and/or physical losses due to the injury

If the plaintiff is able to sway the court or is successful during negotiations, they’ll receive a monetary award or settlement. Listed below are some damages that may be included in your settlement.

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

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Different Types of Product Liability Claims

  • Manufacturing Defects – While a defective design will affect all products, a manufacturing defect means only one item is defective. A manufacturing defect occurs if one product out of a line will have a manufacturing defect that is potentially unsafe, unfit or dangerous. What makes a manufacturing defect is that it departs from the item’s initial design and is an anomaly. For example: bikes with improperly installed chain will lead to serious injury.
  • Warning Label Issues – Hazard and warning labels are very important to consumers. It allows consumers to receive a warning when using a product so they can avoid harming themselves or others. Failure to implement a warning label could cause a consumer to become injured or injure someone else.

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Additional Resources

Product Recalls in the U.S. – Visit the official website for the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission (USCPSC) to access their recall list. Enter the site to learn what products have been recently recalled, why they were recalled, remedies for consumers and how many units have been returned to stores.

Product Liability Standards in Washington– Visit the official website for the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association to learn more about the State’s laws regarding product liability standards. Access the site to learn more about the difference between sellers and manufacturers, liability based on design, liability based on warranty, etc.

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Product Liability Bellingham Lawyer | Whatcom County, WA

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a defectively designed product, call PNW Trial Lawyers today. PNW Trial Lawyers has spent years representing injured victims including those harmed by defectively designed or manufactured products. With our experience, our attorneys can determine if compensation is possible and get started on an attack plan as soon as possible. That way you can focus on recovering without any worries.

Call PNW Trial Lawyers today at (360) 483-5201 to set up your first consultation in the Bellingham, Washington area.

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