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What is Strict Liability in an Injury Case?

McAllen personal injury lawyer

To prove most personal injury lawsuits, you typically need to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the victim’s accident and resulting injuries and damages. However, not all personal injury claims rely on the theory of negligence. In some cases, you will need to prove strict liability for a defendant to be liable for a victim’s damages. When trying to provide strict liability, it is important to understand what it means, the cases where it applies, and common defenses to the doctrine.

Types of Claims Involving Strict Liability

Strict liability is a legal doctrine where a person or entity is liable for another party’s injuries regardless of fault or intent. Instead of having to prove that the at-fault party committed some sort of wrongful act, the plaintiff only needs to prove that the event occurred to recover compensation in his or her claim.

In Texas, the following types of cases fall under strict liability.

  • Dog bites: Texas follows a one-bite rule when it comes to dog bites. If a dog has bitten someone in the past and the owner was aware of this dangerous behavior, he or she will be strictly liable for all of the victim’s damages if the dog bites someone again.
  • Product liability: If you are injured by a dangerous or defective product, you can hold the manufacturer accountable for your damages in a lawsuit. In your case, you will need to prove that the product was defective, that the defect caused your injuries, and that you were using the product as the manufacturer intended. 
  • Workplace injuries: If you suffer an injury while performing your job duties, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim and recover benefits, regardless of fault or negligence. 

It is important to remember that many cases do not follow the strict liability doctrine. For example, after a car accident, you will still need to prove that another driver’s negligence caused the accident in order to hold him or her accountable for damages. It is important to speak with a lawyer to determine the criteria you will need to meet to recover compensation after an accident.

Common Defenses to Strict Liability Claims

Although strict liability may seem straightforward, the defendant may fight against your claim using a series of common defenses. In dog bite cases, for example, the dog owner may claim that you were trespassing at the time of the attack or that you provoked the dog to bite you. If the court accepts these claims, you will not be eligible for compensation. 

Other common defenses include the following.

  • You knew that a particular condition, such as a product or an animal, was dangerous and voluntarily assumed the risk.
  • You used a product in a way that the manufacturer did not intend.
  • The at-fault party did not have control over the animal or the product.
  • You were injured while committing a crime.

If you are injured in any type of accident, it is important to speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can evaluate your claim, help you understand your legal options, and argue against the at-fault party’s defenses. 

Your lawyer can also craft a compelling case for your right to compensation, whether it is based on negligence or strict liability. After seeking medical attention for your injuries, contact a McAllen personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.