What You Should Know About the Duty of Care in a Personal Injury Claim
If you were injured in an accident, you may want to file a personal injury claim against the person responsible. You will not be able to recover compensation unless you can prove this person owed you a duty of care and he or she breached the duty of care.
The licensed New Jersey personal injury lawyers from the Lynch Law Firm, PC have in-depth knowledge of the legal concept of duty of care. We provide a free, no obligation consultation where we can discuss your claim and determine if the other party may have breached its duty of care.
What is the Duty of Care?
A duty of care is a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to help prevent others from suffering harm. In other words, the individual in question must act the way a reasonable person would if he or she was in a similar situation. This hypothetical person follows the law and acts in a cautious manner.
The duty of care depends on the type of case:
- Medical malpractice – Medical providers have a duty to provide care that meets accepted standards in the medical community. This means they must provide care that is similar to what would be provided by a similarly-trained medical professional in a similar situation in the same geographic area.
- Premises liability – Business owners and the owners of real property have a duty of care to safeguard other people who are lawfully on their property. They must warn visitors of known dangers on their property and fix hazards within a reasonable amount of time. If a visitor is injured on the property due to the owner’s failure to correct these problems, it can be a breach of duty of care.
- Product liability – Manufacturers, distributors, retailers and others in the supply chain owe a legal duty of care to make and sell products that are reasonably safe. Consumers should not be harmed by using a product correctly. If a consumer is injured in this manner, the manufacturer may be found to have breached its duty of care.
- Motor vehicle accidents – A driver’s duty of care is based on obeying traffic laws. He or she is required to operate a vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner. If a driver fails to act in a reasonably prudent way, he or she may have breached the duty of care.
A personal injury lawyer can help establish what the defendant’s duty of care was in a particular situation.
Breach of Duty of Care
Once you and your personal injury lawyer have established the duty of care, you need to prove there was a breach of the duty of care that led to your injuries. A breach occurs when a person does not uphold the duties that were established by the duty of care.
Your attorney must show a causal link between the breach of the duty of care and your injuries. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, your attorney would need to show how the other driver’s failure to follow traffic laws caused an accident that led to your injuries. This means you need to show your injuries would not have occurred unless there was a breach of duty of care.
Seek Legal Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
If you were injured by someone who breached their duty of care, the Lynch Law Firm, PC can help. We can help investigate your claim and determine the parties who may be legally responsible for your injuries.
We can discuss your legal options during a free, no obligation legal consultation. We take cases on contingency, so there are no upfront fees and you will not owe legal fees unless we recover compensation.