In North Carolina, the term liability has several different but related meanings. Liability can refer to an outstanding obligation, like a debt that is owed to a creditor. Liability can also mean having legal responsibility for something or being held accountable for something like an injury or a defective product.
The concept of liability arises frequently in civil cases where one party accuses another of being liable for (responsible for) losses. There are different standards used to determine liability in a civil case.
For example, Chapter 99B of North Carolina law establishes the rules for product liability claims. Within this chapter, guidelines are set forth for the circumstances under which product manufacturers bear liability (responsibility) for damages resulting from the use of their products.
Most product manufacturers are strictly liable for losses, which means liability is assigned to the manufacturer any time the product caused harm when the product was used as intended. If a manufacturer is responsible for losses, the manufacturer’s liability means he must pay damages to victims.
The standard is different for car accident claims, on the other hand, where strict liability laws do not apply and negligence or wrongdoing must be proved. Proving liability in a car accident claim requires showing that a breach of driving rules or a lack of reasonable care caused a car crash to happen.
There are also premises liability laws in North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 38A which establish a responsibility of property owners to maintain their property in a safe manner. If a property owner fails to fulfill his obligations and a visitor is hurt, the victim of the injury can pursue a case for compensation.
Premises liability laws impose a higher duty of care on property owners with commercial properties they invite customers onto, while those who have non-commercial visitors owe an intermediate duty of care. Proving liability in a premises liability claim will involve showing the property owner failed to fulfill the obligation imposed on him, and that this failure led to the visitor suffering harm.
To learn more about liability, and about why liability matters after an injury, contact a Charlotte personal injury lawyer today for help.