What is Strict Liability?

Monday, May 14, 2018

 What is Strict Liability?

Strict liability is the legal doctrine that states that an individual or company is liable for injury damages related to the use of their property regardless of their level of negligence to cause those damages. In other words, when a victim is injured and strict liability applies to the case, the victim does not have to prove that the other party’s negligence directly caused his or her injury in the way that he or she would in a case where strict liability does not apply. All the victim must demonstrate in this type of case is that he or she was injured because of his or her interaction with an inherently dangerous animal or object.

Strict Liability versus Negligence-based Liability

Basically, strict liability removes the need for an owner to be negligent in order to be liable for a victim’s injury damages. This does not mean that the injured victim is always entitled to recover compensation for his or her injury damages, though.

Although all an injured victim must demonstrate is that he or she suffered an injury and related damages in a strict liability claim, the other party involved may counter the claim by showing that the victim’s actions caused the injury to occur. In a dog bite case, this could be by demonstrating that the victim provoked the dog into attacking. In a product liability claim, it could be through showing that the victim modified the product in some way or that he or she used it improperly and that had he or she followed the product’s directions, the injury would likely not have occurred.

Injury Cases where Strict Liability Applies

The descriptor “inherently dangerous” is important in strict liability cases. When an object, activity, or animal is inherently dangerous, its owner, operator, or manufacturer is typically strictly liable for any damages that victims suffer because of the inherently dangerous object, activity, or animal.

Examples of scenarios where strict liability applies include:

  • Dog bites. Florida’s dog bite law states that when a dog bites a victim, the dog’s owner is liable for the victim’s damages regardless of the dog’s previous actions or known aggressive behavior;

  • Abnormally dangerous activities. These are all activities where even when participants exercise a reasonable level of care, there is still a significant risk of injury. These activities include skydiving, the use of explosives, the handling of radioactive materials, and demolition; and

  • In certain cases, product liability claims. With certain products, the manufacturer or seller may be liable for a victim’s damages if a defect in the product caused the victim to be injured.

Work with Draper Law Office to Pursue Compensation for your Personal Injury Damages

When strict liability applies to your case, you can recover compensation for your damages without having to prove that the other party was negligent. To discuss your case in greater detail and start working on your claim, contact Draper Law Office online or by calling (866) 767-4711 today to schedule your initial consultation in one of our three Florida offices: Kissimmee, St. Cloud, and Orlando. 


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