Difference Between Failure to Act and Careless Actions
Most personal injury cases apply the legal theory of negligence to attempt to prove liability for an injury. While there are four elements of negligence, one of the most important things to remember is it is about careless or thoughtless conduct that results in an injury.
Much of the time, injury victims claim another party did something that could be considered careless, and this resulted in the accident that caused the injury. However, sometimes an injury is caused by a failure to act to help prevent an injury to another person. For example, a property owner may have failed to act to remove a hazard that caused a slip and fall.
Below, we discuss more examples of when an injury may have been caused by a failure to act as opposed to some type of careless action.
If you were injured and you think it could have been prevented if another party had acted differently, give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation. We may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages.
Phillips Law Group is here to help. Call today to learn more. 1-800-706-3000
When is Someone Else Obligated to Act to Prevent Harm?
This is a complex question that is highly dependent on the situation you are discussing. Attorneys need to determine what is reasonable in a situation.
For example, it is reasonable to expect other people to follow the law. If your car crash was caused by a driver who failed to stop at an intersection, that is likely to be considered an unreasonable failure to act. If a bicyclist gets hit by a car but there was plenty of space for the driver to go around the cyclist, it may be considered unreasonable for the driver to not have moved over.
In many cases, attorneys consider what a reasonable person would likely have done if he or she were in the same situation, knowing what the defendant knew at the time.
If you were rear-ended after making a right turn but the other driver had plenty of time to slow down to avoid a crash, he or she may bear all fault for the accident. Even though you may have pulled out a little early, if the other driver had plenty of time to slow down or change lanes and did not do so, that may be considered unreasonable.
This concept may also apply to slip and fall cases. However, liability for these cases is more complicated because the victim’s legal status at the time of the accident comes into play. The legal status of the victim determines the property owner’s level of obligation to him or her.
Failing to act often comes up in these cases because victims are often injured because of a hazard that should have been removed. Property owners could also be liable for failing to warn visitors of dangerous conditions.
It may be unreasonable to expect property owners to remove every dangerous condition, but they may still be obligated to provide warnings. For example, maybe a property owner needs to renovate an area of the property and is in the process of finding a contractor to do the job. However, while doing that, the property owner may need to block the area off to keep visitors out. That is a reasonable expectation given the situation.
Is There a Duty to Rescue Someone?
Generally, there is no duty to rescue someone. For example, while it is noble and commendable to rescue someone who fell into a lake, there is unlikely to be a legal duty to do so. That said, if the victim was pushed into a lake, the person who pushed him or her may have a duty to take reasonable action to rescue the victim. If this person does not act, he or she could face civil as well as criminal liability.
There are some situations where the victim and another party have a special relationship that obligates the other party to act. For example, drivers of buses, trains and boats may be legally obligated to act to help a passenger who is in danger of getting hurt. A bus driver may need to get a passenger to a hospital for treatment or call 9-1-1. Failure to do so could expose the bus driver and potentially his or her employer to liability.
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys for Legal Help
Proving another party may be at fault for an injury is a complex process. You do not need to try to do it on your own. You can hire an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney at no upfront cost to you. Phillips Law Group is here to help, and we have been recovering compensation for injury victims for nearly 30 years.
We work on contingency, which means no fees unless we win. We are prepared to manage the legal process on your behalf, fighting for your rights and best interests.
There are no upfront fees or legal obligations. Call today: 1-800-706-3000 .
Liz Gonzales was great!!!!
Sophia H. at Phillips Law Group has been an absolute joy to work with -quick, responsive, and professional in every interaction. Her breadth of knowledge, from administration to IT to finance, is nothing short of impressive.
Jon Jamieson was amazing to work with . He came through with all of his promises.
Definitely recommend! Awesome
I was recently served court documents that I was being sued from an accident that happened years ago. For someone who has never been through something like this and not familiar with the court lingo or where to even begin, it was very frustrating and stressful. I reached out to a family member who knew Tracy Laskos and the great reputation of Phillips Law Group and within the hours of the initial call for help, I had a direct number to Lead Attorney Nassar. Nassar heard my case and almost instantly put me at ease by explaining the process and how easy it was to handle. Nassar spoke to me like he was a friend, not like I was a client. I am so grateful to Tracy, Nasar and of course my cousin Stephanie for helping out and giving me the direction that I needed to get through this situation. I plan on referring my friends, family and patients that are in need of a personal injury Attorney to Phillips Law Group. Thank you!!
My paralegal , Caroline , was on top of her game - very responsive and always answered any questions I had and in a timely manner . My attorney Rob ,was the best attorney I ever had . He explained everything in great detail and had a great sense or humor . He really knows how to bring light To tough , unfortunate situations - I would absolutely recommend them at anyone -
Kathy Hudson and Donato Giovanatto. Continues to go above and beyond the call of duty. Reaching out to the insurance company about the damage to the vehicle. Forcing them to take responsibility.
My Attorney Sean Davis and his paralegal Hannah Dustin worked on my case. They listened to the problems that I was having with my case and they both got right to work. First they found me a doctor that actually listened to my problems from my car accident and worked quickly to form a plan that was comfortable for me and the doctor. The doctor was the best and after a couple of procedures the pain in my neck was gone. Behind the scenes Sean and Hannah were working hard to get my case settled with the insurance company. They kept in contact with me on all aspects of my case. They settled my case much faster than I expected and for more than I was expecting. If you want two real professional legal people to work on your case, I would highly recommend Sean and Hannah to you. I cannot say enough nice things about these two. Thank you so much, Rickey Hart .
I would like to thank Vanessa Rodriguez for helping me with my case because I was in total shock about the accident. She had listened to all my concerns and had answered every question I had . She was great !!!