Strict Liability

Published: | Updated: September 16, 2017

Definition - What does Strict Liability mean?

Strict liability is a legal standard that places absolute responsibility on a certain party for damages, regardless of who is actually at fault. It typically applies in criminal, corporations, and tort law and may result because the party has created or enable a dangerous situation, so if it leads to damages, the party becomes liable.

For example, a person who decides to buy a wolf as a pet may be held 100 percent responsible if the animal hurts someone else. It may be the case even if the owner took every possible safety precaution and the injury resulted because the other party acted irresponsibly. In the end, the wolf owner is held to strict liability for owning such a dangerous animal.

Insuranceopedia explains Strict Liability

Regular insurance policies typically do not cover losses from strict liability situations. They exclude these damages because the insured has put themself in a high-risk situation where they are much more likely to face and lose a lawsuit.

For example, regular homeowners policies often does not cover liability if the insured owns a dangerous animal, stores explosives at their home, or has a pool. If the insured wants these risks covered, they would need to buy extra coverage. Some strict liability situations though are so risky though that the insured won’t be able to buy insurance.

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