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What Is Strict Liability in a Personal Injury Claim?

How Is It Different from Negligence?

What Is Strict Liability in a Personal Injury Claim?In most personal injury claims in New Jersey, the legal theory supporting your right to recover compensation is negligence. There are, however, certain circumstances where a different standard, known as “strict liability,” applies. What is strict liability and how is it distinguished from negligence.

What Is Negligence?

Negligence is a legal principle that has developed over hundreds of years. To establish negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove three things:

  • That the person from whom you seek compensation did not act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances (in legal terms, this is referred to as a “breach of the duty of care)
  • That the failure to act reasonably caused an event or accident
  • That, as a result of the event or accident, you suffered actual losses

The rules governing negligence are generally found in the “common law,” in opinions written by judges.

What Is Strict Liability?

Unlike the laws of negligence, the laws governing and establishing strict liability are generally found in statutes, written laws enacted by legislative bodies. The principle of strict liability evolved as lawmakers identified certain types of activities, which, by their inherently dangerous nature, created a greater risk of injury to innocent bystanders and thereby imposed a greater duty on those who engaged in them. Common examples include manufacturing and selling fireworks, transporting hazardous materials, and harboring or owning wild or dangerous animals. In fact, the state of New Jersey imposes strict liability on dog owners.

Why Is Strict Liability Important?

With cases governed by strict liability, there’s generally no requirement that the injured party show carelessness or negligence. Typically, you must only show that the defendant (person from whom you seek compensation) met the requirements of the statute. For example, in New Jersey, to recover damages after a dog bite, you need only show that the defendant owned or controlled the dog that bit you. You don’t need to prove that the defendant knew or should have known that the dog would act aggressively toward a human. You don’t have to show any history of aggressive behavior. You need only show that you were on public property (or legally on private property) and that you did not provoke the dog.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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