In tort law, the concept of strict liability refers to imposing financial responsibility on one party without requiring proof of actual negligence, recklessness, or tortious intent.
In certain situations, such as a product liability case, the law says that manufacturers should be held financially responsible for injuries caused by their products, regardless of whether or not they acted negligently in designing or manufacturing the item.
The concept of strict liability does not automatically mean the manufacturer is liable for any and all damages (injuries) related to the use of their product. Victims bringing a claim still need to prove certain elements of their case (such as foreseeability), but unlike other types of cases, the victim’s comparative fault does not come into play.
While this concept may be confusing on the surface, there are many good reasons for imposing strict liability in certain types of situations—especially those considered to be inherently dangerous.
Why strict liability applies in certain cases.
With regard to product liability cases (injuries caused by defective or unsafe products), manufacturers are in the best position to ensure the safety of their products prior to putting them on the market, and as such, they can be held strictly liable for any foreseeable injuries caused by a defect or safety flaw.
When a Texas employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation coverage and an employee is injured on the job, the employer is held strictly liable for 100% of the worker’s damages if it can be shown that the employer was even 1% responsible for the accident (such as failing to properly train employees, failing to supervise, etc).
Even some dog bite claims fall under strict liability. The state of Texas adheres to the “one bite rule,” meaning that if a dog has previously bit someone (or even tried to) and the owner or keeper was aware of the animal’s previous dangerous conduct, they can be held strictly liable for 100% of the victim’s injuries and financial damages should the dog cause injury to another person. The same may hold true for other types of animal cases, such as horse owner who allows someone to ride a horse known to have dangerous tendencies.
Bringing a strict liability lawsuit.
When someone in Texas suffers an injury, the victim has the right to file a lawsuit in order to seek damages from the responsible party or parties. The most-common types of claims that are filed under product liability law are those where the manufacturer or seller of the product was negligent, or those where one or more parties are liable under the concept of strict liability. Although there are differences between a strict liability claim and a negligence claim, many elements can actually overlap.
As mentioned above, the plaintiff in a strict liability claim is still required to prove specific items in order to win their case. The basic elements that make up a product liability claim, for example, are as follows:
- You must prove that the defendant was responsible for fabricating or manufacturing the product.
- You must prove that the defect existed at the time the plaintiff purchased the product or when the defendant sold it.
- You must prove that the defect in the product was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
- You must prove that the injury suffered was reasonably foreseeable, based upon the extent of the defect.
Giving yourself the best chance at winning your case.
These types of cases can be very complex, but to give yourself the best chance at recovering compensation, contact an attorney in your area who’s experienced in handling strict liability claims and request a free consultation.
At Rasansky Law Firm, we have over 20 years experience handling these types of claims, and we’re happy to review the facts of your case over the phone and advise you of your options moving forward.
Speak With a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.