Negligence vs. Strict Liability

Recovering Compensation after a Personal Injury

Negligence vs. Strict Liability ImageWhen you’ve suffered needless injury because of the wrongful acts of another person, your first thoughts are often about how you’ll survive financially. You may be unable to work or you may need significant medical treatment (which may or may not be covered by insurance). In most instances, you’ll file a personal injury lawsuit alleging negligence by the defendant (the person who caused the accident). In limited circumstances, under what is commonly referred to under the law as “strict liability,” you can seek damages without having to prove negligence.

What Is Negligence?

Most personal injury claims in New Jersey are based on allegations of negligence. To prove negligence, you must demonstrate to the jury that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would have under the circumstances. Ultimately, it will fall on the jury to evaluate the actions of the defendant and decide whether they were consistent with what a reasonable person would have done, or whether the defendant “breached” the duty of care.

The legal support for a negligence claim won’t be found in any statute, but comes from what is known as the “common law,” written down in judicial opinion over hundreds of years. Most common personal injury claims, such as motor vehicle accident lawsuits and slips and falls, are based on allegations of negligence.

What Is Strict Liability?

Strict liability is a legal concept whereby a person or entity may be held responsible for injuries without a showing of negligence. That means that a person may recover compensation without having to prove that the defendant acted unreasonably. Typically established in statutes (written laws enacted by legislative bodies), strict liability commonly applies to activities that are inherently dangerous, such as selling fireworks or manufacturing explosives. Persons engaged in these activities assume liability by law in exchange for the right to engage in those dangerous activities.

Contact Our Office

At the Lee Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge and experience successfully handling personal injury claims. We take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis—you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

Call us at 973-315-9080 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary. We welcome all major credit cards.

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