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An Introduction to Personal Injury Litigation—The Standard of Care

an-introduction-to-personal-injury-litigation-the-standard-of-careWhen you’ve been hurt in an accident, one of the first things you’ll want to do is take an inventory of your losses and try to determine exactly what happened. If the accident was caused by the conduct of another person, you have a right to pursue reimbursement for past, present and future losses. Though you can always recover monetary compensation (also known as damages) for the intentional or reckless behavior of another person, most personal injury lawsuits are based on a legal theory of negligence.

In this three-part series, we’ll take a close look at what you must prove in court to succeed with a personal injury claim:

  • That the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would (breach the duty of care)
  • That the failure to act reasonably caused an accident
  • That you suffered actual losses because of the accident

In this blog, we examine the standard of care in a negligence claim.

Breaching the Duty of Care

Under the law of negligence, as it has evolved over the last millennium, initially in England and then in the United States, all persons in society are under a duty to use a certain level of care in all daily activities, whether it’s driving a motor vehicle, operating machinery, maintaining property or designing/manufacturing a consumer product. That duty requires everyone to act “as a reasonable person” would. The failure to do so can make a person potentially liable for any physical injury, financial loss or property damage sustained by another person.

The law, however, has never been very specific about what qualifies as “reasonable.” Though some courts have construed “reasonable” to be what an “average person of ordinary prudence” would do, the reality is that the standard is determined by the jury on a case-by-case basis (though prior decisions are given consideration).

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. We won’t charge any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

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