The Most Common Strict Liability Offenses: Wild Animals & Consumer Products

There are various types of personal injuries that one can suffer at the hands of a negligent defendant. Negligence is the most common legal theory under which individuals choose to sue the party responsible for their harm. A negligence action requires a duty, breach of that duty, causation and damages to succeed. It is subject to a variety of defenses such as assumption of the risk or consent. However, some actions are considered so inherently dangerous that the courts have construed a different standard under which plaintiffs can sue. This stricter standard is known as strict liability. The following article will details the types of strict liability offenses. If you have been injured in one of the following ways, consider contacting our offices today to discuss your case. Even if you don’t fall within a strict liability category, chances are you can still sue under a negligence theory.

  • Wild Animals: If you have recently been injured by a wild animal or a vicious domesticated dog, you could possibly have a claim of strict liability. The law has determined that it is too dangerous for individuals to keep wild animals as pets and if someone is injured by such a pet they will be held liable and will not have an opportunity to present a defense. Wild animals include any type of pet that is not a commonly domesticated house pet. Past examples have included any member of the large cat family (puma, tiger, lion, lynx), animals commonly found in the forest (bears, foxes, wolves) and even predatory animals indigineous to oceans and lakes (pirhanas, sharks). These types of animals, even if properly trained, are considered too dangerous and wild to be kept among society. Also, if you have been bitten by a dog that the owner knew or had reason to know has a propensity for violent and vicious attacks, your injury will likely fall under a strict liability claim as well. Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you fall into this category.
  • Appliances & Products: Generally, products liability carries a strict liability standard. This means that if you have been injured by a product while using it in a foreseeable manner (this includes misuse) you will likely be able to recover your damages from the manufacturer or designer and he will not be afforded the opportunity to present a defenses. Products liability claims apply to any reasonably foreseeable user as well. It does not matter if you were not the person who actually purchased the item. Products liability claims extend to any consumer product placed into the stream of commerce for use by the general population. This includes any kitchen appliance, lawn mowers, vehicles, electronics, and so forth.

There are various other types of strict liability claims available to you as well as the common negligence cause of action if your case does not involve an inherently dangerous activity. Contact us today and you will be well on your way toward a resolution for your claim!