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How is the duty of care established in a personal injury claim?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2022 | Personal Injury

Whether through car wrecks, slip-and-fall accidents, medical malpractice or dog attacks, people sustain injuries every single day. Unfortunately, most of these accidents are preventable. If you are hurt as a result of someone else’s actions (or inaction) and wish to sue for compensation, it helps to understand the first element of negligence: the duty of care.

As a general rule, everyone has a legal duty to act in a reasonable manner that does not endanger the public. If a person fails to live up to this duty, they may be held liable for the resulting damages.

How does duty of care change from situation to situation?

The relationship between the injury victim and the defendant is what sets the standard for the defendant’s duty of care. In general, someone with a duty of care is required to act in a way that is reasonably safe toward the other party – so someone’s exact duty of care can vary from situation to situation.

For example:

  • Every motorist owes a duty to operate their motor vehicle with reasonable care to other people sharing the same road.
  • Health care providers have a duty to exercise reasonable care while treating their patients.
  • A pet owner has a duty to ensure that their animal is restrained so that it can’t attack people around it.
  • Property owners are expected to keep the premises safe for their guests and other legitimate visitors (but they may not have the same duty toward a trespasser).

It is important to understand that one’s duty of care toward others is imposed by the law – not one’s own feelings.

If you sustain an injury that was not your fault, you deserve justice. Establishing a duty of care is your first step toward pursuing the liable party for compensation for your damages. Steven Morgan is a local attorney who cares about the outcome of every case. If you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, call 912-289-0640 today to learn more.