Most personal injury cases require proof of a tort committed by the defendant in connection to the plaintiff’s injuries or harm, such as negligence, to result in financial compensation for the victim. Some cases, however, apply the legal doctrine of strict liability. This doctrine allows a victim to hold a defendant liable (financially responsible) for an injury even without proof of negligence or fault. There are three types of cases where this doctrine typically applies.
Product Liability Claims
A product liability claim is a lawsuit brought against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a product that contains a dangerous defect. Every year, thousands of consumers are injured by defective products. These are items that contain design flaws, manufacturing mistakes, or marketing errors. Most injury claims and lawsuits brought because of defective products use the doctrine of strict liability. This law makes it easier for a consumer to recover compensation from a large and powerful manufacturing company by eliminating the need to prove negligence.
In a strict product liability lawsuit, an injured consumer must prove that the item contained a defect and caused the injuries being claimed. It is not necessary to show that the manufacturing company made a mistake or was negligent in ensuring the safety of the product. Typically, the strict liability law applies to these cases if the product contained one of the three main types of defects. Otherwise, an injured consumer may have to base a claim on the doctrine of negligence or breach of warranty instead.
Dog Bite Injury Lawsuits
Claims involving animal attacks or dog bite injuries rely on strict liability laws in some states. There are strict liability and one-bite laws that control how and when injured victims can recover financial compensation for dog bite injuries. Nebraska uses a strict liability dog bite law. Under Nebraska Revised Statute Section 54-601, the owner or owners of any dog(s) that injure, wound, worry, chase or kill any person or domestic animal shall be liable for any and all damages that accrue.
In a state that uses a one-bite rule, on the other hand, the dog must have a history of violence for its owner to be held liable for a bite injury. The owner must have known or had reason to know that the dog could bite but failed to prevent an attack. In Nebraska, this type of evidence is not necessary. A pet owner is strictly liable for a dog bite injury regardless of the question of negligence. This law places the duty to restrain a pet and prevent harm to others with the owner. Nebraska’s dog bite law may also extend to other types of animals, depending on the circumstances.
Injuries Caused by Dangerous Activities
The third type of case that involves strict liability is one where a victim is injured because another person created abnormally dangerous conditions or engaged in highly hazardous activities. If the defendant in a personal injury claim exhibited behaviors that are grossly negligent, reckless, malicious or wanton, this can create conditions where the courts permit a strict liability claim. In this scenario, the plaintiff’s attorney must show that the defendant was engaged in an ultrahazardous activity that created a foreseeable risk of harm to others and that this was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
Do You Have a Strict Liability Claim? Ask an Attorney
Strict liability generally makes it easier for an injured accident victim to hold someone accountable and recover financial compensation for his or her losses. There are defenses to strict liability, however, such as trespassing and the assumption of risk. If you or a loved one was recently injured in any type of incident in Omaha, contact a personal injury lawyer in Omaha to discuss your rights. A lawyer can assess your case and let you know if it involves the strict liability doctrine.