Risk Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Risk?

(n) Risk is the chances of occurring an unexpected loss or damage to a person, property, establishment etc while undergoing a process or activity. For example risk of financial loss is normal while investing in equity capital

History and Meaning of Risk

The origins of the term "risk" can be traced back to the 17th century when it was used in a nautical context to describe the uncertain voyage of a ship. Over time, the term has taken on various meanings and is now commonly used in the context of business, finance, insurance, and law.

In general, risk refers to the possibility of incurring harm, loss, or damage due to some uncertain event or circumstance. It can be quantified in terms of the probability or likelihood of a particular outcome, as well as the potential magnitude of the impact.

Examples of Risk

  1. A business that invests heavily in a new product line is taking on a significant financial risk, as there is no guarantee that the product will be successful in the market.

  2. A construction company that hires workers without proper safety training is exposing itself to a high degree of legal and financial risk, as injuries or accidents on the job could result in costly lawsuits and damage to the company's reputation.

  3. A homeowner who chooses not to purchase flood insurance in a region that is prone to flooding is taking on a significant risk, as they may be financially responsible for repairing any damage caused by a flood.

Legal Terms Similar to Risk

  1. Liability: Refers to the legal responsibility for harm or damage caused by one's actions or omissions.

  2. Negligence: Refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in a particular situation, which can lead to harm or damage to others.

  3. Damages: Refers to the monetary compensation awarded to a person or entity who has suffered harm or loss as a result of the actions of another party.