What is Strict Liability in an Injury Case?

Personal Injury | April 20, 2021

 Strict Liability in Personal Injury Claims

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another individual, business, or entity, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. However, personal injury lawsuits typically involve proving liability, which can be challenging. There are some instances where an at-fault party may be held strictly liable for an incident, which means they can be at fault even if they did not intend to cause harm to someone else. Here, our Chicago personal injury lawyers want to discuss strict liability and how it could impact a personal injury case in Illinois.

Understanding Strict Liability in Personal Injury Cases

In most personal injury cases, the injury victim (the plaintiff) has to show that the at-fault party (the defendant) was negligent in some way and caused the injury and damages. However, that is not the case for strict liability situations.

When a strict liability law governs a particular injury claim, this means that the defendant can be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries even if they did not mean to cause harm. The plaintiff only needs to show that they were injured and that strict liability applies.

What Situations Does Strict Liability Apply To?

There are various types of strict liability situations you may run into in Illinois. This includes the following:

  • Defective products. This is usually where we see strict liability wording apply. Anytime the company manufactures and sells a defective product, they will be held strictly liable for any injuries that result from a consumer using that product. When a person is injured due to a faulty product, all they need to show is that they used the product in the way that it was meant to be used. Products can become defective due to faulty designs, manufacturing errors, or labeling problems.
  • Dog bite cases. Not every state handles dog bite cases on a strict liability basis, but Illinois does. If a dog bites and injuries somebody in this state, the dog’s owner will be held strictly liable for any injuries that result, so long as the injury victim was in a public place or lawfully in a private place, and as long as they did not provoke the dog.

Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Illinois

Just because strict liability may apply to a particular injury situation, this does not mean that the case will be easy. You can be sure that companies and manufacturers, as well as insurance carriers, will do everything they can to push back against having to pay a settlement.

For product liability cases, this could include the defendant trying to say that the plaintiff used the product inappropriately and caused the injury to themselves. For dog bite cases, the defendant may argue that the victim was trespassing or that they provoked the dog. A skilled personal injury lawyer in Illinois will be able to conduct a complete investigation into these incidents, determine liability, and negotiate with all parties involved to help their client receive full compensation. The ultimate goal in these situations is to ensure that the injury victim receives coverage of their medical bills, lost wages, any out-of-pocket expenses they incur, pain and suffering damages, and more.