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Strict Liability vs. Negligence
(Definition,Differences & Examples)

In a negligence lawsuit, plaintiffs allege that the defendant’s negligence caused their injuries, whereas in a strict liability lawsuit, the defendant is liable for the injury even if they were not negligent or at fault in the case.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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What is Negligence?

The legal concept of negligence is characterized by the failure to exercise appropriate and/or ethical ruled care expected to be exercised in a specific situation. The domain of tort law known as negligence involves harm caused by failing to act as a form of carelessness, potentially with extenuating circumstances.

The fundamental tenant of negligence is that individuals should exercise reasonable care in their actions by taking into account the potential harm they could cause to other people or property.

What is Gross Negligence?

Gross negligence refers to a lack of care that demonstrates a reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, which is so great that it is a conscious violation of other people’s rights to safety.

What is Strict Liability?

Strict liability is a standard in criminal and civil law under which a person is legally responsible for the consequences of their actions, even in the absence of fault or criminal intent on the part of the defendant.

Under strict liability law, if the defendant possesses anything that is inherently dangerous, that individual or entity is strictly liable for any damages caused by their possession, no matter how careful the defendant is in utilizing them.

How is Negligence Different From Strict Liability?

In negligence, the defendant’s conduct is the focus, whereas, in strict liability, attention is focused on the defendant’s product. The negligence of either party is irrelevant in strict liability.

What’s the Difference Between Strict Liability and Liability Without Fault?

A defendant convicted of strict liability must pay damages regardless of whether they have met, or failed to meet, an applicable standard of conduct. Action that causes harm is all that is required to be guilty of strict liability. Fault-based liability, on the other hand, is specified as liability predicated on some sort of wrongdoing.

What is an Intentional Tort?

Intentional torts are wrongful acts committed on purpose. The defendant does not need to actually mean harm, but someone else may be injured anyway, such as in a prank. Or, the person can expressly cause harm, such as in a domestic violence case.

Which is More Efficient?

Given that the burden of proof to harm is easier under strict liability, the number of damage claims is typically larger than under negligence; however, as it is easier to predict the outcome of such cases, many strict liability lawsuits are settled out of court.

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