What is the meaning of independent liability in law of torts?

The principle of liability plays an important role in the law of torts. One’s liability in a civil wrong or a tortious act ascertains whether one will be asked to pay any compensation for the damage caused, as compensation is the main aim of tort law. While understanding this concept, the Latin maxims of damno sine injuria and injuria sine damnum become relevant.

The maxim known as “damnum sine injuria” roughly translates to “damage without injury.” It refers to a genuine loss that happens without any legal rights being violated. This is due to the fact that merely losing money or the equivalent of money does not constitute a tort. A true infringement of certain rights must result in legal harm for it to be considered a tort. In such circumstances, there can be no liability. Let’s take the case of someone who has owned a stationery store on a road for a number of years. He cannot sue for losses in business if these are caused due to opening of a rival shop in the area.  There is no legal injury suffered in this scenario.

Also Read Difference between Tort and Crime

Also Read Question:- “A suit for Tort cannot be brought against Acts of State”. Examine the statement.

The notion of injuria sine damno refers to a breach of one’s rights without actual damages, in contrast to damnum sine injuria. Liability may result from this even if no one actually experiences losses of any kind because it results in rights being violated. A major breach of a person’s right to safeguard his property, for instance, is trespassing on private land. Even though there is no actual harm done, the trespasser is nevertheless required to pay compensation in these situations.

As opposed to independent liability, where there is a single tort feasor, in joint liability, there is more than one defendant held liable for the damage caused to the plaintiff. Each defendant in a joint tort is individually or jointly liable for the total amount of damages. As in the case of a nurse and a doctor sharing responsibility for a patient’s improper medical care.

There are also various defences for avoiding liability which must be considered when the question of holding one liable arises. An example of this would be consent, or Volenti Non Fit Injuria. When someone gives their assent to an action, it might occasionally result in harm being done to them. This agreement may be in the form of free choice and knowledge of the potential harm. A person cannot demand compensation if they are aware of the hazards involved with what they are doing and continue to do it of their own free will, giving free consent.

Also Read Question:-Elaborate on the different kinds of persons who cannot be sued in tort.

Also Read Question:- Elaborate on the different kinds of persons who cannot sue on account of the personal disability.

There is also the concept of extinction of tort, in which due to the conditions, there is a liability but no available remedy. Reaching an end to the tort is the definition of discharge of tort or liability. It is a procedure by which the tort becomes extinct and the offender is released from liability. This can happen in case of the death of the guilty party, or due to accord (an arrangement whereby a person consents to accept something of value in exchange), satisfaction (payment of a sum of consideration), or any other similar circumstance.

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