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What is Civil Liability and When Can I Claim it?

Civil liability is the obligation to compensate for the damage caused by one party to another, regardless of whether or not there is a prior legal relationship.

Such compensation may be monetary or in kind.

There is contractual civil liability when one party is obliged to another to perform a task, or the omission of an action, and by not performing in the agreed manner, causes damage to the other party. However, the damage must be directly attributable to the obliged party to claim compensation for the damage in accordance with civil law.

Then, what would be a contractual civil liability?

For example, when a party is obliged to supply construction material to a company engaged in housing development, such as concrete or rebar, the supplier is obliged to deliver material of a certain quality and quantity, within the agreed time. If the material is different from what the parties agreed to in the contract, it would be subject to contractual civil liability and the supplier would be required to compensate for the damage that may be caused to the construction company.

Likewise, a lawyer who accepts a case for a client must give his client the maximum attention and commitment to handle the case in the best possible way. However, he cannot guarantee a favorable outcome since this is beyond the control of the service provider.

However, it is necessary to clarify that in situations such as the above examples, the breach of contract may not generate compensation for damages, since there are exceptions that release the obligor of compensation, being these cases force majeure or fortuitous event – a breach derived from an event caused by a human being and inevitable or, derived from an event of nature, considered impermissible.

What about extra-contractual civil liability?

This arises when there is no previous link between the subject that causes the damage and the one who suffers it. Since, the obligation arises from an action or omission that is provoked at the time.

In this case, the person who causes a detriment to the prejudice of another due to his lack of prudence or care, whether in a physical aspect, patrimonial scope or any other kind, must compensate the affected party, or even in some cases, his creditors or dependents.

For example, consider a collision between vehicles. The person who caused the collision is liable to the affected party, and consequently, must bear the expenses of the repair of the affected vehicle and any hospital expenses of the occupants of the vehicle.

If you would like to know more about the subject or would like personalized legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us.

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