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Defending a Strict Liability Claim

Strict Liability ClaimDefending a Strict Liability Claim

Though most personal injury lawsuits are based on a legal theory of negligence, or breach of a duty to use reasonable care, there are also instances where an injured person may seek compensation based on a theory of "strict liability." We discussed the concept of strict liability in greater detail in another blog. In this article, we'll look at the potential defenses that may be asserted in a strict liability claim. Contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney with questions about your personal injury claim.

Challenges to a Strict Liability Allegation

With a lawsuit based on strict liability, there's typically a statute, or written law, that identifies the requirements that must be shown to successfully recover compensation. As a general rule, there's no need to show negligence or carelessness in a strict liability context. However, a defendant can argue:
  • Assumption of risk—There are certain activities that, by their nature, are inherently dangerous. For example, working in an explosives plant, transferring explosives as part of your job, or researching and developing new explosives or fireworks are all inherently dangerous occupations. Even though there may be a state law assessing strict liability to anyone manufacturing or marketing explosives or fireworks, that strict liability may not extend to persons who knowingly put themselves in harm's way by working with explosives.
  • Contributory negligence—An allegation of contributory negligence contends that you had some role in causing the accident that led to your injury. Most states have strict liability laws governing the ownership of certain types of wild animals—if your domesticated wild animal attacks someone, they can typically proceed with a strict liability claim. However, if you were illegally on the property at the time, or otherwise intentionally ignored warnings about the danger of the animal, you may be contributorily negligent and may be banned from recovery.

Contact Metzger & Kleiner

At Metzger & Kleiner, our personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 215-567-6616 in Philadelphia, 610-435-7400 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 866-847-4170. We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. We will only bill you attorney fees if we recover compensation for your losses.

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