Once an insurance company receives a claim from an accident victim, it investigates, in order to determine who was at fault. Personal Injury Lawyer in Owen Sound uses the term legal liability, when referring to the concept of fault.
The defendant carries the burden of legal liability
The defendant’s insurance company must pay for the damages. That same company has sold liability insurance to the responsible party.
The plaintiff must prove that the other party was negligent.
• Did that other party have a duty of care towards the plaintiff?
• Did that same party breach that duty of care?
• Did the defendant’s negligence cause the harmful accident?
• Did the plaintiff suffer actual, i.e., measurable damages?
Each of the above questions must get answered in the affirmative, if the plaintiff hopes to charge the defendant with traditional negligence.
Alternatives to the traditional negligence
Intentional conduct: This charge indicates that the defendant had acted willfully. In other words, the harm done to the plaintiff was not the result of a careless action. Instead, it demonstrated the defendant’s performance of a willful activity.
Negligence per se: This charge indicates that the defendant had chosen to violate a certain statute to an extreme level. If you were stopped on the road because you had been driving at a rate that was 5 miles per hour greater than the speed limit, you would not be charged with negligence per se.
Suppose, though, that you were on a stretch of country road, and you thought you could make time by going 25 to 30 miles per hour faster than the speed limit. At that point, if some cop stopped you, then you would face a charge of negligence per se. Strict liability: If someone that has been charged with strict liability must go on trial, then the plaintiff’s lawyer needs to meet a different standard of proof. In order to satisfy that specific standard of proof, the plaintiff’s lawyer can abandon the need to establish negligence.
Defendants get charged with strict liability, if their actions have aided performance of a certain type of operation. The evidence should show that their actions allowed them to carry out a dangerous operation. Some people get lucky, and manage to carry out a dangerous operation without harming others. Someone that has managed to harbor wild animals, but has kept them restrained, does not deserve a charge of strict liability.
Suppose, though, that the same animal keeper got lazy and did a poor job of restraining one of the animals. As a result, that particular beast escaped the established enclosure. Imagine what could happen if that wild creature ventured into a family’s backyard. Any children would most certainly get hurt. The family could charge the animal keeper with strict liability.