Introduction to Liability

This slideshow is intended to introduce you to the concept of liability and how liability is determined. You’ll also learn more about the different tools that you will be using to assist you in making a liability decision. 

By the end of this session, you will be able to: • Demonstrate an understanding of what liability is

The law of torts

In general liability is the legal responsibility to pay monetary compensation.

The law of Torts or tort liability forms the basis of liability and can be defined as a civil wrong, act or omission of a person, without just cause, which caused a loss or damage to another person or their property.

A tort can be defined as a civil wrong, act or omission of a person, without just cause, which caused a loss or damages to another person or their property.

Tort law requires the at fault party to provide compensation for the loss or damages they have caused.

Tort negligence


Negligence is the most important area of tort law as most insurance liability claims involve allegations that the at fault party acted negligently.

For a person to be deemed liable under the tort of negligence the person suffering the loss must be able to show that:

  • The at fault party owed a duty of care
  • The at fault party breached the duty of care
  • The breach of the duty of care caused the not at fault party to suffer a loss
  • The loss or damage was reasonably foreseeable

• Identify and explain the criteria that is considered when making a liability decision

Liability is interesting!


Determining liability isn’t always easy to do but it is always interesting as every claim is unique, one reason being that each person will have a different perspective about the same event.

Perspectives vary from person to person. Different people perceive different things about the same situation. But more than that, we assign different meanings to what we perceive. And the meanings might change for a certain person. One might change one's perspective or simply make things mean something else.

One person’s recollection and perception of the events in an accident may be completely different to another person involved in the same accident. However, that is not to say they are not being honest in what they tell us but simply that they have different perspectives. 


The power of perception

This is a famous picture. What does it look like to you?

Some people see a young lady looking away. Others see an old lady looking down. Depending on how you look at it, part of the picture might be the young woman's nose and eyelash, or it might be a wart on the old woman's nose. What is the young woman's ear might be the old woman's eye. What is the young woman's necklace might be the old woman's mouth. The picture hasn't really changed. You just emphasize different parts of it and assign them different meaning, just as a person might do with the events leading up to an accident.

Untitled statement question

  • Type your statement here...
  • Type your statement here...

Untitled scenario question