Reasonable Person Standard in a Personal Injury Case
- Home / Personal Injury /
- Reasonable Person Standard in a Personal Injury Case
October 8, 2021
Most personal injury cases are based on the legal theory of negligence, which refers to the failure to uphold a duty of care owed to the person who filed the claim for compensation. While there are many different duties of care that may be owed to someone, a breach of a duty of care refers to a failure to take reasonable action to prevent an injury.
This raises various questions: What could be considered reasonable action? How does an attorney establish that another party’s actions or failure to act were unreasonable?
Phillips Law Group’s experienced attorneys discuss these concepts in detail. If you were injured and think another person could have and should have done more to prevent you from getting hurt, you may have a valid case for compensation.
We are prepared to help you seek maximum compensation for your damages at no upfront cost. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.
Reasonable Action to Prevent an Injury
In many cases, an at-fault party’s actions were considered unreasonable because they violated a law. For example, a driver could be found at fault for a car crash because he or she was violating traffic laws, such as laws on:
- Distracted driving
- Right of way
- Maintaining the integrity of a lane
- Running a red light
- Making an illegal turn
- Driving the wrong way
- Failing to use his or her headlights
If your attorney can prove the other driver violated a traffic law before your crash, he or she may be found liable for your damages.
In a truck crash case, the driver may have failed to properly secure the cargo in the trailer, in violation of federal law. The trucking company may have violated federal law by failing to drug test the driver, repair the truck, or pushed the driver to violate hours of service rules.
In a slip and fall case, the property owner’s actions may not have violated a specific law, but they may have been unreasonable. For example, if the property owner or one of his or her employees was aware of a dangerous hazard and did not take steps to address it, the owner may be liable for injuries that result. The property owner may argue he or she should not be held liable for the actions of employees, but that may be untrue due to the concept of vicarious liability.
Your lawyer would likely need to prove the owner had a reasonable amount of time to address the hazard. Your lawyer would also likely need to prove the hazard was unreasonably dangerous and people could not be expected to avoid it. For example, hazards in heavily trafficked parts of the property should probably be dealt with quickly.
At the very least, it may be reasonable to expect the property owner to mark off the area to prevent people from getting near the hazardous condition.
It is important to note each case must be assessed on its own. What is considered a reasonable duty of care in one case may not be considered reasonable in another case.
What About Failure to Act?
In some cases, the at-fault party simply failed to act to prevent harm to someone else. Sometimes failure to act is unreasonable, given the situation and the likelihood of being able to prevent harm to someone else by acting.
A common example of a failure to act is a failure of nursing home staff members to move a resident to prevent that person from getting bedsores. Some residents cannot move much on their own and need assistance. Nursing home staff members must provide that assistance to help reduce the risk of injury to these residents.
In a defective product case, the victim may allege the manufacturer should have done more to notify consumers about the dangers of the product. For example, if research comes out showing a drug is linked to severe side effects, the manufacturer has an obligation to notify the public. Concealing this information or not acting on it could be considered unreasonable.
Duty of Care to Children
It is important to note people may owe a greater duty of care to children than to adults. That means they could be held liable for something involving a child even though they would not be held liable for a similar situation involving an adult.
Children do not have the same ability as adults to watch for danger and identify dangerous situations. For example, that is why property owners need to have fences around swimming pools and take other steps to keep children away from attractive nuisances.
Unsure How a Lawyer Can Help? Call Today
Confused by the legal process? Need help dealing with the insurance company?
Phillips Law Group’s experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys have decades of combined experience managing these cases. We know how to handle every step of the process, from filing claims to gathering evidence and negotiating with the insurance company to filing a lawsuit.
By hiring one of our attorneys, you can rest assured your case is in the hands of an experienced professional dedicated to your best interests. The insurance company is not going to take care of you, and our services come with no upfront fees.
Call today. We are here to help. 1-800-706-3000
Free Case Evaluation
Your message has been sent
Thank you for your message, we will get back to you soon.
Phillips is the best!! Love all that they do to give back to the community and how much they help those who are experiencing homelessness. ❤️
Liz Gonzales was great!!!!
Working at Phillips Law Group has been great the 1st few years in I noticed how well organized and run this Firm was from Intake to Settlement the Client has the expertise of a staff member uniquely qualified for the particular stage of each Clients claim and all other Law firms try to emulate what we do here but none quite get it right because they lack one major component “Compassion”. We are a FAMILY not just a group of people/employees. We care deeply about each other and our clients’ we are considerate, compassionate and make sure that all our Clients’ needs are met from beginning to end. That’s because we treat our clients just like we treat each other. Nothing like walking through the office and saying Hello to fellow employees who always seem to be smiling. 16yrs in and it only seems to be getting better.
It’s an Honor and a Privilege to work for a company that cares about its employees and clients for 12 years. I’ve seen Management go out of their way to help someone whether it’s a personal matter or work related. I am also reminded of many occasions where a Client needed urgent help and we as a Team were able to get the person immediate assistance. At Phillips Law we make that happen through Teamwork and a dedication to our profession. I’ve had numerous jobs in several other fields, those were just jobs. This is a home. Many of us have been here for quite a few years, it feels like one large extended family.
The lawyers here are of top quality. Especially Trey Dayes, who was always respectful and hard-working.
I’ve been working at Phillips Law Group for nearly four years and I can confidently say this is the best personal injury firm in Arizona to work for. The firm is the best for numerous reasons but to start, Phillips Law Group gives employees opportunities for promotions and growth. I started working within the settlement department, moved to a paralegal assistant and grew to be a pre-litigation paralegal with my own case load. Each attorney I have worked for is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and easy to talk to. Secondly, I love how Phillips Law shows appreciation for employees. They host Friday Zoom Huddles giving out PTO, goodie bags, special shout outs, bonuses and gift cards. They also host extravagant holiday parties and fun contests during the Holidays! Lastly, the firm cares about giving back to the community, which is a trait I value as well. It’s rewarding to see a fast paced firm taking time out of their busy day to pay it forward. I would highly recommend working at Phillips Law Group!
I enjoy my work day here at Phillips Law Group and generally speaking I love my clients. Every day brings a new client or task to keep me on my toes. Administration keeps open communication and is hilarious most of the time! I love the way we celebrate FRIDAY, holidays and birthdays and how everything is so competitive. All in all I’m so fortunate to be here and I enjoy what I do.
A friend of mine recommended Phillips Law and I’m so grateful, because they were so wonderful, so down to earth, so professional. I felt like they were family.
Phillips Law Group is a company that has taught me so many things. Here your work, your dedication, effort and discipline are valued, in addition to the fact that, as a woman, as an immigrant and as a human being, I have been given value and empowerment. We are a successful law firm because all workers feel part of a great family. I am very proud and honored to work at Phillips Law Group.
Great experience! Took care of pretty much everything, and I always felt like I want in good hands. Caroline Fa. was also a great help with everything. She always returned my calls and I never felt unheard. Even after my case she would still help me with my insurance documents.