How a Personal Injury Lawyer Helps: Types of Liability

Whether you have been bitten by a dog due to the negligence of the owner, fallen down an open manhole, or slipped and broke your hip because of a wet floor in a grocery store, do not attempt to claim compensation without the help of a personal injury lawyer.

We say this because a personal injury claim is rather complex. Without the help from an experienced lawyer, the probability of an outcome to your benefit is significantly lower than with professional help from a specialised lawyer.

Three types of liability or accountability can be distinguished:

  • Negligence
  • Intentional
  • Strict

The accountability is determined by assessing whether the personal injury has been caused intentionally or has been the result of the carelessness of the defendant. The lawyer helps to determine the type of liability and who to hold accountable for the injury and damages suffered.

Negligent Action or Lack Thereof

Failure on the part of a responsible party in taking care not to cause harm to another person is negligence. In this instance, the party neglects to take the necessary steps in providing a reasonable standard of care not to cause harm. Examples for this type of claim range from medical malpractice to injuries related to vehicle accidents, as well as slip and fall injuries.

Intentional harm

Assault, fraud, trespassing, character defamation, theft, bullying, and battery are examples of where a person causes harm intentionally. In this type of injury, a criminal charge may also apply against the defendant. Keep in mind that the success of your civil case is not affected by the outcome of the criminal prosecution of the defendant. Your lawyer handles the civil legal action against the defendant for compensation directly related to the harm caused.

An example is where two parties argue in public. The one party hits the other in the face, causing a broken jaw. A criminal charge for assault may apply against the aggressor, while the injured party’s lawyer handles the civil lawsuit against the aggressor for damages such as medical expenses, trauma, and loss of income.

Strict Liability Personal Injury Claim

In this instance, the intention to harm doesn’t affect the liability. A defective product that causes harm to the user is an example. The manufacturer has a duty to test and ensure all products made available to the public are safe and meet the minimum quality requirements for the particular type of product.

A dog bite is also an example of strict liability, regardless of the intention. As such, this type of liability is relevant where a situation has an intrinsic danger factor to it.

Seek legal guidance to help determine which type of liability applies. Get in touch with our personal injury lawyers to help you determine the merits of your particular case and explain the way forward in seeking compensation.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing. February 2020.

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