In civil law, the concept of liability consists of two types, namely debt and risk liability. A distinction is also made between contractual and legal liability, liability for persons (children, pupils and employees), liability for animals and liability for property (damage to products and objects). Furthermore, this article is about third-party liability insurance ( third-party liability insurance) and the possibility of calling on the Guarantee Fund.
Debt Liability and Risk Liability
Liability, a term from civil law, means that someone is obliged to make good the damage that a vein suffers. The person in question is then held “legally liable” for that damage. It is therefore also possible to take out third-party insurance .
A person is liable only if there is an unlawful act, if he can be blamed for something. For example, you run over someone but you can prove that he or she suddenly crossed the road without looking out and that it was therefore impossible to avoid the blow; in that case it is a case of force majeure, not fault and you are not liable.
Blame or culpability does not play a role in this form of liability. There is strict liability when a certain risk occurs. For example, if you are a home owner and the balcony of your house falls down due to a construction fault or because you have not maintained it properly, you are liable for the damage caused, even if you were not aware of the fault or defect.
Contractual and Legal Liability
When entering into an agreement (a contract), obligations must be fulfilled by both parties. Let's take a purchase agreement as an example, the seller commits to deliver something and the buyer to pay a certain amount for it. If one of the parties does not fulfill its obligations, then this party will be in default, unless it can rely on force majeure. The party that does not fulfill its obligations is contractually liable or the damage is caused by it.
Someone who causes damage to another person is in many cases liable for this by law. Legal liability applies when there is an unlawful act that the perpetrator can be blamed for; there must be a fault from which damage or disadvantage arises.
Liability insurance or third-party insurance ( third party liability insurance) covers any financial risks that arise in the event of legal liability. Of course, this insurance does not cover damage caused to your own property. All policies also exclude damage that someone causes to someone else's property that - at the time of damage - is under his acquiescence. For example, you can be held liable for the damage you caused to a borrowed bicycle, but this damage can almost never be recovered from the insurance.
Deliberate damage is also not normally compensated unless the perpetrator is a child under 14 years of age. Most policies contain the provision that compensation for damages caused by persons who are not liable. For example, young children, the mentally handicapped and people with dementia cannot be held liable. If the insured person deliberately enters a situation in which there is a high risk of damage, payment may be refused. There is then more or less “own fault” because the insured knowingly ran the risk of damage.
Liability for Persons
A person is not only liable for his own (wrongful) acts. Parents can be held accountable for the actions of their children, schools (or teachers) are accountable for their students and employers for their employees.
Liability for Children
Young children (under the age of 14) can in most cases not be held responsible for their actions, but their parents are liable for them. If you, as a parent, can demonstrate that you have exercised sufficient supervision, but could not prevent the act, then you are not at fault and there is no liability .
Liability for Students
Teachers are also accountable to their students for the time they are under their supervision. This applies to during school hours as well as during excursions, school trips, school trips, etc.
Liability for Employees
As far as employers are concerned, they are not only responsible for the employee himself, but also for the wrongful acts committed by their employees in the course of their assigned duties. Sometimes an employer will exclude this form of liability by agreement. This is often stated as a provision in a building contract.
Liability for Animals
Damage by Animals. In case of damage caused by an animal, the main rule applies that the owner of the animal is liable. As exceptions, the “user” of the animal, who has supervision over the animal, can be held liable if it is proven that the animal is used for his own benefit. If the owner proves that he or she could not have prevented the act in question, he or she is not liable either.
Guard dogs .
There are many misunderstandings about guard dogs. Even if the owner puts a warning sign like “Wait for the dog” on a property, he or she remains liable for the damage his or her dog causes to third parties, whether inside or outside his or her property or home. happens. The damage could be prevented by locking up the dog.
Liability for Goods
Business Products Possessions
A person is liable for damage caused by things he owns, such as a house or a car, and by defects in products supplied by you. For example, if your house collapses because you have not maintained it properly or due to a construction error, you usually have to compensate for the damage that someone else suffers as a result.
Most motor vehicle owners know they can be held liable. Due to the legal obligation to insure, private individuals generally do not experience this legal liability as problematic. In principle, one is compulsorily insured with a third-party liability insurance ( third party liability insurance ) for causing damage in traffic.
If you suffer damage due to the fault of a motor vehicle of which the owner is unknown, you can appeal to the Road Traffic Guarantee Fund or Motor Traffic in The Hague. It is important to find out the identity of the perpetrator by, among other things, alerting the police. You must be able to prove that the damage was caused by another motor vehicle. So you need evidence, such as witness statements.
The Guarantee Fund sets a number of conditions for the coverage of damage caused by an uninsured driver of a motor vehicle. Firstly, it must be demonstrated that you have given the liable person sufficient notice to pay. A second condition is that it is made plausible that the liable person will not pay the compensation.
Third party insurance
Third party liability insurance offers protection against the risk of liability. With the exception of a few cases, this liability insurance reimburses most personal injury and property damage caused by the insured.
Pure financial damage (means that the damage is only financial) and deliberately caused damage is covered by the liability insurance not insured. Some companies can also have the pure financial loss insured, this applies to companies with financial risks, such as insurance agents, lawyers, accountants, etc.
The liability insurance can be taken out by private persons as well as by companies and persons who practice a liberal profession.
- AVP is a liability insurance for private individuals (the insured person and his family are insured)
- AVB is a liability insurance for companies and persons who exercise a liberal profession.
When is liability insurance compulsory?
Third party insurance is not compulsory in the Netherlands, as in most European countries. In some cases, third-party insurance is mandatory. This compulsory third-party insurance applies in the Netherlands to:
- an owner / driver of a motor vehicle
- operators of nuclear power plants
- hunters (i.e. people who hunt)