What is Strict Liability?

Strict liability happens when the defendant is liable for damages without fault. This often occurs in product liability claims. It differs from traditional negligence, because the burden of proof is no longer on the plaintiff. Instead, the plaintiff must only show that damages occurred and that the defendant is responsible.

During strict liability, there is the assumption that the manufacturer or supplier of the defective product was aware of the defect; therefore, they are responsible for damages caused by that defect.

Attorneys Assisting with Strict Liability Claims in the Indianapolis Area

Not all product liability claims qualify for strict liability. Instead, the plaintiff must make a claim based on the manufacturing defect, which includes that:

  • The defendant was the actual manufacturer.
  • The product contained defects when it was originally purchased by the plaintiff.
  • The defect existed when the product was sold by the retailer.
  • The defect is what caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • The injury by the plaintiff was something that the manufacturer could have foreseen and prevented.

In these types of cases, additional compensation may be awarded to the plaintiff if he or she can prove that the defense was aware of the defect and sold the product regardless.

Exceptions for Manufacturers

There are exemptions in place for liability when the product is unsafe, but the danger is known as common knowledge to the public. Therefore, if it is common knowledge to know the product contains a risk, the manufacturer is not liable. For example, a lighter has the risk of burns. Therefore, if someone were to hold the lighter to his or her hand and suffer a burn, the manufacturer is not liable, because it is a commonly known risk.

Sellers and Their Liability

The person who sells the product to the consumer also accepts the responsibility from the manufacturer to warn the consumer about the dangers of the product. If they do not properly do so, then they may be liable for injuries caused and the manufacturer will not be liable under the strict liability principle. The same goes for distributors that do not inform their retailers about the risks associated with the product prior to distribution.

Speak with a Product Liability Attorney

If you have suffered a serious injury because of a defective consumer product, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to assess whether you have a case, you will need to meet with a product liability attorney from Jacobs Law, LLC. Our attorneys can then assess your injuries, the level of defects in the product, and determine if you have a strict liability or product liability claim against the manufacturer and the associated parties.

To get started, schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis today.