Accidents can happen at any time for nearly any reason. Natural disasters, poor judgment and changing circumstances can cause damage and injury in professional settings as well as on the road or other places. When are others responsible for the results of accidents?
There are three major sources of legal liability for injuries and damage.
The first and most commonly known source is negligence. This occurs when someone had a responsibility to maintain safety in some way but did not meet that responsibility. If a shopkeeper should have cleaned up a spill or a driver should have not been texting, these actions or failures to act may constitute negligence in civil court.
Another form is strict liability, which refers specifically to the designers and makers of defective products. A problem with the fundamental design of a product or with the process of its manufacturing may cause undue risk and result in trauma for the product’s users or others nearby.
One of the rarest forms of liability is intentional wrongs. This can be the civil law side of a criminal act, like an assault or false imprisonment. The victims of these acts may wish to claim damages from the perpetrators. However, civil cases are separate from criminal cases and don’t have the same high standard of proof.
People who have suffered an injury after someone else’s act or failure to act may similarly claim financial damages whether or not there has been a criminal act. An attorney can help determine if any of these three forms of liability matter after an accident.