What Is a Strict Liability Tort?

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What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

When a person seeks money from a defendant to recover damages for an injury, they file a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim can be for an intentional tort, negligence, or strict liability.

What Is Strict Liability?

Strict liability is the type of tort where a defendant is legally responsible for injuries or damages suffered by the plaintiff. Under strict liability, a plaintiff can sue for a defective product or the defendant’s actions. It does not require a plaintiff to prove their injury was the defendant’s fault. The assumption is that if the defendant had conformed to the applicable law or had put forth a properly designed and made product, the plaintiff would not have been injured.

Are There Different Categories of Strict Liability?

Yes. This tort has three subsections:

  1. Wild Animals: A defendant is strictly liable for any harm or damage caused by a wild animal kept in his possession. The harm suffered by the plaintiff does not have to be directly caused by the recklessness or intent of the defendant.
  2. Abnormally Dangerous Activities: A defendant is responsible for the harm or damage of activities:
    • Involving serious risk of harm to property or individuals
    • Not commonly conducted or used
    • Cannot be eliminated by using utmost care
  3. Defective Product: The defendant is liable for any unsafe products that are defective in their:
    • Design,
    • Marketing, or
    • Manufacturing.

What Must the Plaintiff Prove to Win?

For a plaintiff to be successful in their lawsuit, they must show:

Harm is needed to prove strict liability. Without an actual injury, the plaintiff may not file a claim under this tort.

When Is a Manufacturer Not Liable for Its Product?

If there is no way to make a product safer and the plaintiff is told about the danger, the manufacturer may be exempt from liability.

Do I Need a Lawyer Regarding a Strict Liability Claim?

Talking to a personal injury lawyer about a potential strict liability claim is extremely important when you have been harmed. A lawyer will advise you of your rights, file a claim on your behalf, and negotiate a settlement.

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Last Modified: 07-17-2015 09:51 PM PDT

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