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What Is Duty of Care in a Personal Injury Claim?

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on May 04, 2018 in Personal Injury

personal injury law bookIf you have been injured in an accident, determining which party may be held liable often depends on whether the at-fault party was obligated to ensure your safety and well-being.

In a personal injury claim, this obligation is referred to as “duty of care.” When a person, corporation or entity failure to uphold its duty of care results in another’s injury or death, the victim or his or her loved ones may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party.  

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, a skilled Phoenix personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have a case against the at-fault party. Do not hesitate to contact the Phillips Law Group to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We can discuss your claim and determine if the other party may have breached its duty of care.

What Is Duty of Care?

A duty of care refers to a person’s responsibility to act in a reasonable and safe manner, exercising appropriate care to avoid injuring others.

For example, a duty of care may exist in the following situations:

  • Drivers owe other motorists a duty of care to operate a vehicle in a reasonably safe manner in order to prevent accidents
  • Employers have a duty of care to their employees by providing a safe work environment
  • Health care providers owe patients a duty of care to their patients by providing treatment that
  • Property owners have a duty of care to ensure their property is free from known hazards and safe for guests and visitors

What Is Reasonable Care?

Reasonable care means acting as another reasonable person would in the same circumstances. A breach is when someone fails to meet the required level or reasonable care owed depending on the situation.

If someone’s action or inaction exhibits a failure to exercise reasonable care owed to another party, he or she may be found at-fault for the accident. For example, a motorist would exhibit reasonable care while operating a vehicle by following traffic laws and refraining from driving in a reckless manner.

If a motorist were to cause an accident because he or she was texting while driving or speeding, it would exhibit a lack of reasonable care.

What Is Breach of Duty?

A breach of duty occurs when someone fails to act per the duty of care he or she owes another person. However, this will typically require the victim to prove the accident was caused by the at-fault party’s negligence. Breaching duty of care may constitute negligence and legal liability if the following can be proven by the plaintiff:

  • The victim was owed a duty of care by the defendant
  • The defendant breached the duty of care he or she owed the victim
  • The victim’s injury was directly caused by the at-fault party’s breach of duty
  • The victim suffered damages as a result of the at-fault party’s breach of duty

How Does Breach of Duty Lead to a Personal Injury Claim?

When a breach of duty results in another person suffering an injury or death, the victim may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. This may occur in the following type of personal injury claims:

Auto Accidents

In a car accident claim, a driver’s duty of care is to operate a vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner. If a driver causes an accident because he or she failed to act in a reasonably prudent manner, it may be considered a breach of duty.

Slip and Fall

Property and business owners have a legal duty to clear any hazards that are known to exist on their property. If a hazard forms on the property owner’s premises, he or she must fix it within a reasonable amount of time or adequately warn others about the hazard.

However, when a property owner fails to correct a hazard he or she knew about, or should have known about, and a guest or visitor is injured as a result, it may be considered a breach of duty.

For example, if you slip and fall on a wet surface located on another’s property, you may be entitled to file a slip and fall claim against the property’s owner.

Product Liability

Manufacturers, distributors and sellers of products owe consumers a legal duty to make and sell products that are reasonably safe and do not harm consumers when used correctly.

If you are injured by a product while using it for its intended purpose, you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability claim.

Medical Malpractice

Health care providers have a duty of care to provide patients competent medical treatment that upholds the medical community’s standards.

If a patient suffers injury or death because he or she received substandard medical treatment, the health care provider has breached his or her duty and may be held liable for medical malpractice.

Contact a Lawyer for Help Now

If you believe you have suffered an injury as a result of another party’s breach of duty, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with the Phillips Law Group for a free review of your claim and to find out if you have a case against the at-fault party. We have represented numerous personal injury claims and will pursue the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.

Call 1-800-706-3000 to schedule a free consultation.

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