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CONSTRUCTION SITE COVERAGE AND INSURANCE IN France

Decennial and Civil Liability

what is a company’s civil liability?

Civil liability is the obligation to compensate for bodily injury or tangible or intangible damage that may be caused to a third party by the company’s belongings or staff, over the course of work completed.  

There are a number of situations in which the company’s liability may be invoked.  

Civil liability laws dictate all rules that define the conditions under which victims of an accident can obtain compensation from the responsible party.

It implies that: 

  • Damage has been caused,
  • Something caused this damage,
  • There is a causal link between the two.


The party claiming compensation must always prove each of the three conditions.

Liability is divided into two sections: contract liability and tort/quasi-tort liability.  

Contract liability is when failure to fulfill a contract causes damage.
Thus, contract liability is when there is a breach of contract (failure to fulfill contract or failure to fulfill contract to standard), that causes damage and a causal link is established between the two.

Tort/quasi-tort liability is when professional negligence causes damage to a third party who is not under contract.
The result can be civil liability: 

  • On the grounds of having personally caused the damage (articles 1382 and 1383 of the Civil Code),
  • On the grounds of events (article1384 clause 1 of the Civil Code),
  • On the grounds of other people (article 1384 and following of the Civil Code),
  • On the grounds of failure to fulfill a contractual obligation, whether the work is not completed to standard or not (articles 1147 and 1137 of the Civil Code).

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