When you have finished this chapter, you should be able to
A risk confronting almost every person or business is that of behavior that could result in another person's injury or property damage. The basis of the risk is the liability imposed by law on one responsible for injury or damage to other people or their property. It is a risk that can, and in many instances has, attained catastrophic proportions and one that can materialize at any time. There is no way of estimating the amount of legal liability in advance. It may be a mere thousand dollars or a half-million. It is a risk that has no maximum predictable limit.1 Before we study the role of insurance in protecting the individual from the legal liability hazard, we will examine the hazard itself, with emphasis on the doctrines of negligence that give rise to the liability exposure.