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Understanding the Concept of Strict Liability in New Jersey

Situations Where You Don’t Need to Prove Negligence

Understanding the Concept of Strict Liability in New JerseyYou can bring a personal injury lawsuit against someone who harms you intentionally, but most personal injury claims in New Jersey are based on negligence. Under the law of negligence, a person may have legal responsibility (liability) for injuries caused to another by actions that fail to meet the standard expected of a reasonable person under the circumstances.

However, some acts of carelessness don’t require a showing of negligence. The legal principle governing such acts is known as “strict liability.” Most strict liability claims are based on statutes, written laws that set forth the conditions that establish liability. As a general rule, strict liability applies to situations involving inherently dangerous activities—owning a wild animal, or manufacturing or transporting explosives, for example. Anyone engaging in such activities must accept the potential risks of doing so.

There are typically only two requirements to establish responsibility in a strict liability claim:

  • You must show that the defendant was engaged in an activity listed in the strict liability statute; and
  • You must show that you suffered injury as a consequence of that activity.

A defendant in a strict liability claim generally has only two potential defenses:

  • That the injured person knew of the potential risk and voluntarily assumed that risk—for example, they knew the defendant had a wild animal on the premises and entered anyway;
  • That the injured person engaged in actions that contributed to the circumstances that caused the injury—for example, trespassing on property where a wild animal is present.

Contact Howard D. Popper, P.C.

For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after a motor vehicle accident, contact our office online or 973-993-8787 to set up anappointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton. Currently, all our client communications are by phone, text message, or videoconference.

We handle all motor vehicle accident claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.