When you’ve suffered a personal injury, more often than not, any legal action to recover for your losses will be based on a theory of negligence. This requires that you show that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person, that the failure to do so caused an accident, and that you suffered actual loss because of the accident. See our blogs on the elements of a negligence claim.
As the laws of personal injury have developed, though, other legal theories have arisen, including the concept of “strict liability.” With a strict liability claim, the activity engaged in is typically one that is inherently dangerous. Examples include the harboring or possession of wild animals, the manufacture of explosives or fireworks, and the transport of hazardous materials.
In these situations, legislative bodies have typically enacted statutes that allow persons to engage in the dangerous activity, but also allow anyone hurt because of the dangerous activity to obtain monetary compensation for losses without a showing of negligence. As a practical matter, all types of activities that are subject to strict liability principles are found in statutes, written laws enacted by legislative bodies. The statute typically indicates that, in order to be found liable, only two requirements must be shown:
- The defendant engaged in the activity specified in the statute
- The plaintiff suffered injury because of the defendant’s actions
Most strict liability statutes provide for certain limited defenses to a personal injury claim, including assumption of risk and contributory negligence. Assumption of risk holds that some activities are so inherently dangerous that anyone participating in them must assume some potential responsibility for injury. Contributory negligence functions to reduce or waive the liability of a defendant if the injury party behaved in such a way as to cause or contribute to the cause of the accident.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.