2 min reading time


Thomas van Vugt
Thomas van Vugt
Contact me

Liability under civil law

Liability under civil law means concisely stated that a natural person or a legal entity is liable for compensation of the damage caused by him/her. The main objective of liability law is therefore to recover or compensate the damage suffered.

Unlawful act, breach of contract and damage

When you commit an unlawful act towards another person, you will be obliged to compensate the other person for the damage ensuing from this. If an agreement has been concluded the person, who fails in the performance of this agreement, will be obliged to compensate the damage that the other party suffers due to this, unless the failure cannot be attributed to the debtor. In that case there will be a breach of contract.

Exclusion of liability

In some cases, in particular when two commercial parties conclude an agreement, the liability will be limited or entirely excluded by one party by means of an exoneration clause. You find such clauses in general in the applicable general terms and conditions.

Directors’ and officers’ liability

As a director of an enterprise you can be personally liable under certain circumstances towards the creditors of the enterprise who have suffered damage. This is called directors’ and officers’ liability.

Liability on the part of a bank, supervisory authority, lawyer, doctor or civil-law notary

In addition, banks can be liable towards their customers or towards third parties, if they breach their (special) duty of care. Furthermore, there will be liability on the part of supervisory authorities if it becomes evident that they have conducted insufficient supervision. The government can also be liable for example towards a citizen. There will be government liability in that case. If a civil-law notary, a doctor or a lawyer fails in their provision of service, they can be obliged to compensate the damage ensuing from this. In that case this is called professional liability. The same applies for other service providers for example accountants. An accountant can be held liable if he/she does not act as can be expected from a reasonably acting accountant.

Employer’s liability

Employer’s liability will be at issue if an employer is liable for his/her employee or the liability for an auxiliary person whereby for example you, as a contractor, will be liable for the subcontractor hired by you.


Ravel Residence