Liability Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Liability, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Liability?

(n) Liability is the legal responsibility to make good the loss, damage, shortage occurred to a person, entity, property etc by the action or failure of the person responsible to do such acts or legally accountable for such action or non action. Eg. a person carelessly leave his vehicle on a slop, it slips down to an adjacent shop injuring the shopkeeper, then the owner of the vehicle is also liable for the damages

History and Meaning of Liability

Liability is a legal term that dates back to the early development of common law. At its core, liability refers to the obligation of one party to another for some kind of harm or loss. This could be due to an action or failure to act, but in either case, the responsible party is considered legally accountable for the outcome.

Examples of Liability

  1. A business owner is liable for any injuries sustained by customers on their property.
  2. A driver is liable for any damages caused by a car accident they caused.
  3. A doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if they provide substandard care that causes harm to a patient.
  4. A person who signs a contract is liable for fulfilling its terms, and may face legal consequences if they fail to do so.
  5. A company might be liable for damages resulting from a defective or dangerous product they manufactured, sold, or distributed.

Legal Terms Similar to Liability

  • Negligence: Failure to take reasonable care resulting in damage, harm, or loss to another party.
  • Tort: A wrongful act or omission that causes harm or loss to another person or their property.
  • Damages: The monetary compensation awarded to a party who has suffered harm or loss due to the actions of another.