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When Is Strict Liability Relevant In Personal Injury Cases?

Strict liability is a legal concept that means negligence does not have to be proven to hold a manufacturer or retailer liable for injuries suffered. Personal injury claims based upon injuries caused by defective products often rely on this legal concept. In New Jersey, plaintiffs in auto product liability cases may claim that a defective automotive part caused their injuries, and therefore, strict liability should apply.

The legal concept developed because it became difficult to prove that the manufacturer of a product was negligent during production. Strict liability also applies to retailers who failed to ensure that a product was safe. There are, however, certain legal requirements that must be observed.

Under strict liability, the injured party does not have to prove that the defendant was at fault. However, the specific product that caused the injuries must have a defect that can be described as unreasonably dangerous. In order for strict liability to apply, the plaintiff must have used the defective product as it was intended to be used. Furthermore, the product must not not have been altered in any significant way.

A personal injury claim against a car manufacturer and/or other parties responsible for the care and maintenance of a motor vehicle may be appropriate when injuries suffered in an accident are attributable to a vehicle malfunction. Should it be documented that the accident was caused due to a defect in the product, these New Jersey victims may choose to file an auto product liability claim against the parties deemed responsible. In such cases, plaintiff’s counsel will determine if strict liability is relevant to the claims alleged.

Source: Findlaw, “What Is Strict Liability? How Does It Affect Injury Lawsuits?“, Daniel Taylor, Feb. 11, 2015