Liability within the law


In civil litigation the claimant must show the defendant’s liability: law on how to show that the defendant is liable varies from area to area, so you would need to instruct a solicitor who is an expert in the relevant area of law.

Civil litigation

In civil litigation, liability must be proven before a remedy for the wrong is considered. While the method for proving liability varies with each area of law, the procedure remains similar.

In civil litigation, the claimant’s solicitor will usually contact the defendant’s solicitor before they lodge the claim with the court. The Civil Procedure Rules and protocols contain guidelines of what should be done and what time limits must be adhered to. Failure to adhere to time limits or to do as the protocols require can result in the claim being struck out, or damages being reduced. 

In all civil litigation cases it is wise to send a letter to the other side before the case proceeds to court. Failure to attempt to settle a claim through litigation can be punishable by:

  • The judge reducing damages awarded
  • By making one party pay the other side’s costs when they would not otherwise have been required to

A claimant or defendant who does not want to be penalised for failing to follow protocols and rules relevant to their case should contact a solicitor who specialises in litigation to assist them with their case.

Personal injury and liability

Product liability law in England and Wales attempts to protect customers from faulty or defective goods which could cause injury. Legal proceedings in which the claimant has been injured and is claiming compensation are known as personal injury proceedings.

Liability is a key part of the law relating to personal injury. A claimant in personal injury, as in all civil litigation, must prove the defendant’s liability. Law of negligence is a common reason for a defendant to be liable. In personal injury law, liability is proven by showing that:

  • The defendant owed the claimant a duty of care
  • The defendant breached that duty
  • The breach caused the claimant loss

Once the claimant has shown the defendant to be liable, the claimant must show how much money they need to compensate them for their loss. The judge will consider the claimant’s financial loss, such as:

  • Their loss of earnings
  • Medical bills they have had to pay

The judge will also consider what the claimant is likely to lose in the future, so future medical bills and future loss of earnings. The judge will then consider the pain and suffering of the claimant as well as their loss of amenity and will attempt to quantify that.

If you have a legal issue where liability is difficult to prove, it is recommended to seek specialist legal advice from a solicitor with expertise in that particular field of law. A solicitor has the requisite knowledge in proving liability and can dramatically increase the chances of success of your case.

Do you have a legal issue involving liability law? Contact Law works with specialist civil litigation and personal injury specialists who can help you resolve any issue you may have, quickly and efficiently. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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