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What is Strict Liability in an Insurance Case?

August 21, 2023

In most cases of personal injury in West Virginia, the injured victim’s responsibility is to prove that a defendant is at fault for causing their injuries to receive compensation for damages. West Virginia has adopted an at-fault policy in most incidents except for a few.

In these exceptions, West Virginia applies a strict liability standard which means the injured victim is not responsible for proving fault or negligence to hold a defendant accountable or liable for their actions. 

The Application of Strict Liability

There are particular instances in West Virginia when strict liability may apply. Regardless of the cause of your injuries, speak with a knowledgeable Charleston personal injury attorney to discover the full range of compensation that you deserve. 

Product Liability

Defectively manufactured products can cause severe injury or even result in death. In West Virginia, when a personal injury is caused by a defective product, the plaintiff is not responsible for proving the manufacturer was reckless or did not operate under a duty of care. 

Even when a manufacturer takes appropriate action when making a product, the injured party is only responsible for identifying the defect, demonstrating the defect caused their injuries, and demonstrating the product is dangerous because of the defect. The law of strict liability and product defects also applies to any bystanders injured by using the product because of proximity to the product.

Ultrahazardous or Abnormally Dangerous Activities and Conditions

Many West Virginians’ work may be classified as abnormally dangerous or requiring an ultrahazardous activity. These situations present conditions that pose a high risk even when proper precautions are taken. These dangers play a critical role in many injury cases in West Virginia.

Some of the types of work that may require ultrahazardous activities or produce abnormally dangerous conditions include:

Awareness of your personal injury risk at work and if your job poses a high fatality rate is essential to protecting yourself.

Strict Liability and Animal Bites

The laws applying to animals and bites vary depending on the type of animal. Individuals keeping a dangerous wild animal may face strict liability if the animal causes injury. This law may also apply if a dog is running loose and causes damage to a person or property.

But limited strict liability also applies to dog bites in West Virginia. The One Bite Rule can prevent an owner from being held responsible for their dog’s aggressive behavior if this is the first time the dog has bitten or acted aggressively against someone. 

Strict Liability and Personal Injury Cases in West Virginia

While a victim does not have to prove negligent or reckless behavior by a defendant in a strict liability injury case, it may still be argued by a defense team that the victim assumed responsibility for the risk. Liability laws are complicated, and determining who is responsible for the injury can be challenging. Recovering from any injury you sustain requires time to heal and participate in rehabilitative therapies that improve the injury victim’s outcome. 

Injury victims living in Beckley, Charleston, and Huntington, West Virginia, have an experienced, supportive team in Salango Law, PLLC. Schedule your free consultation today to discuss the options in a West Virginia personal injury claim. Time limits apply to any case, so call today to learn more about strict liability laws in an injury case.