Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Proving Your Product Liability Claim | Chris Thayer

Posted Thursday, July 28, 2016 by Chris Thayer

When you buy a product, you have a reasonable expectation that it is reasonably safe for its intended use. This is not always the case. Periodically, consumers buy products that are defective or contain defective parts. When that product does not function properly, injuries can occur. If you are injured as a result of a dangerous or defective product, you may have a right to monetary recovery. A Seattle product liability attorney understands that your injuries resulting from an accident could have been caused by a multitude of factors, and not just from one person’s negligence but also from a defect that existed in the product you were using.

**Types of Product Liability

These are some of the ways in which a products liability claim can come about.

**Who May Be Liable For A Defective Product

Essentially, any party in the chain of the design, production, distribution and sale of the defective product is a potential defendant. This is particularly true in strict liability claim. The list of potential defendants includes the following parties:

If you are injured as a result of a dangerous or a defective product, you may have several legal theories available to sue upon. You do not have to guess or choose the best one at the beginning of your case. These are the legal theories a Seattle product liability attorney would consider

**Strict liability

In order to prevail on a strict liability claim, you do not have to prove that the defendant did anything wrong. You need only prove that:

Once all three elements are proven, the defendant has the burden to avail itself of liability. One way is to prove that the defendant did not cause the injury and/or another defendant is liable for the defect causing injury. For example, if a manufacturing company placed a vehicle tire on the market and knew that tire was not suitable for highway driving and the tire exploded on the your car, then the defendant manufacturer would be liable. You can reasonably expect to recover the full array of damages which includes actual and future medical costs, lost wages and earning capacity, and pain and suffering. However, if the accident was caused by a driver who ran a red light and the defective tire did not explode or contribute to the accident or your injuries, then the manufacturing company would not be held liable for your injuries.


Negligence, to some extent, has been replaced by strict liability since strict liability is easier to prove. To prove a negligence claim, you must establish that:

Using the same tire example, if the defendant manufacturer placed a tire that it knew was unsafe on the market, then you would have a strong negligence claim against the manufacturer. If you succeed in your claim, then you can expect to recover the full array of damages.

**Breach of warranty

To prevail based on breach of warranty, you must prove that:

Using the same vehicle tire example, the manufacturer puts the tire on the market knowing that it is not up to safety standards for highway driving and the vehicle tire comes with a warranty. You would also have a strong case for breach of warranty. However, damages would be limited to what are referred to as concrete damages that would include, for example, property damages and medical bills.


To succeed in a fraud claim, you must prove that the defendant

For example, you purchased the defective tire from the distributor, who has knowledge that the tire may be unsafe. During the sale, the defendant distributor (seller) repeatedly tells you that the tire is suitable for all purposes and issues you a guarantee. In reliance upon defendant’s representations, you purchased the tire, the tire explodes while you are driving and you are injured. You would likely have a strong case against the distributor based on fraud and can reasonably expect to recover all damages available in a personal injury case as well as punitive damages.