Defenses to Civil Liability

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What Is Civil Liability?

Legal liability means to be responsible for an action or debt. Civil liability is to be responsible for debts or wrongdoing against another private party. This is in contrast with criminal liability, which deals with wrongdoing against society as a whole.
In civil liability suits, there are a number of defenses one can use to shift or deny responsibility. However, unlike criminal liability, the legal standard for guilt is lower. As a result, the defenses employed in a civil suit must be stronger than those of a criminal suit to avoid a verdict of guilt. 

What Are Defenses to Civil Liability?

There are several defenses an individual or organization can raise if a civil liability lawsuit is brought against him. The following defenses are absolute negative defenses; they defeat the claim by undermining and denying an important part of the case.  Some common negative defenses include:

Other defenses are affirmative defenses; it is admitted that events are true, but there is an alternative explanation as to what happened such that the defendant is not responsible. These defenses can include:

Do I Need a Lawyer to Claim One of these Defenses?

Civil lawsuits are very complicated and can be very costly. If a civil liability lawsuit has been brought against you, a personal injury attorney can advise you of your legal rights and defenses. 

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Last Modified: 09-02-2014 02:01 PM PDT

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