Negligence or Strict Liability?

Both negligence and strict liability fall under the personal injury umbrella. In both cases, the plaintiff will generally file a lawsuit and seek some form of compensation for the injury or damage he or she was sustained at the hands of the defendant. Once the lawsuit is filed, the courts will decide on the type of compensation that are due based on the circumstances and facts introduced in each case.

In a negligence claim, the victim, also known as the plaintiff, must prove that his or her injuries or damages were caused by the careless act or breach of duty imposed on the defendant. By contrast, in a strict liability case, the intention of the defendant is not a factor. Strict Liability cases pertains only to the fact that an injury or damage has occurred.


Negligence occurs when an individual (the defendant) has a duty to uphold, breaches that duty, the breach of duty caused an injury to the plaintiff, and measurable damages can be calculated and determined. Only when injuries or damages occur can a plaintiff file a claim. For example, if someone fails to stop at a red light, hits another motorist, and damages the other vehicle, the victim will be able to file a negligence claim against the driver who failed to stop at a red light, and the victim will be able to collect money for the damage he suffered in the accident.

On the other hand, if someone fails to stop at a red light, hits another motorist, but there are no damages to the person or the other vehicle, the victim will NOT be able to file a negligence claim against the driver who failed to stop at a red light.

Strict Liability

Strict liability holds a defendant legally responsible for the damage and loss caused by his or her acts despite their intentions. Under strict liability, there is no need to prove fault or negligence . Guilt is automatically presumed once the facts prove that an injury or some form of damage has occurred. A good example of a strict liability claim is a dog bite. The dog owner will be liable for the dog bite. It does not matter if he or she took precautions to prevent the injury. The dog owner will be responsible and will have to pay damages.

negligence or strict liability

Product Liability

Product liability cases may also fall under strict liability court claims, depending on the conditions that caused the injury or damage. Product liability occurs when a manufacturer or seller places a defective product on the market, and that defective product ends up injuring a customer. Responsibility for a defective product that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain.

Contact a personal injury attorney if you or a loved one has been injured. Your attorney will help you determine the best course of action, and he or she will be able to discern whether your case falls under a negligence claim or a strict liability claim.

Shannon Sagan
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Shannon Sagan

Mr. Sagan is a solo practitioner at Shannon J. Sagan, PA.His primary practice area is personal injury.His entire career has been dedicated to representing the injured and not insurance companies.Mr. Sagan received his B.A. in Legal studies at the University of Central Florida and became a paralegal for a personal injury firm while attending law school.He received his Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Mr. Sagan has been practicing law since 2005 and holds positions on various boards throughout Palm Beach County and nationally.
You may contact Mr. Sagan via email at or 1-800-FLA-LAWYER or read more about him and his law firm at
Shannon Sagan
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