Examining the Duty of Care Involved in a Personal Injury Case
January 14, 2019
One of the most important legal concepts is that of duty of care. Almost every single personal injury case that occurs has some sort of duty involved as well as the breach of that duty of care. The breach of duty of care is where almost all personal injury claims originate. At the same time, the word negligence is present in every personal injury case. The negligence of one party, which caused the breach of duty of care, is the focus of all personal injury cases. Let’s take a deeper look at duty of care present in a personal injury case so you have a clear understanding if ever injured due to someone else’s actions.
Defining Duty of Care
Every resident of Pennsylvania and the rest of the country has a legal duty to act in a responsible manner at all times so as to not injure someone else. This includes when driving, when working with tools, when caring for someone and much more. When a person fails to meet this legal duty of care they could be held liable for any injuries or damages caused to someone else. In most situations, the normal duty of care applied is the individual’s duty to act in a reasonable manner.
There are some situations in which the courts will hold people or companies to a higher duty of care. The most common instance is when common carriers are involved. Common carriers are buses, trains, planes and other vehicles that carry multiple people. Groups of people can also be held to higher standards of care, specifically medical personnel like doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Lawyers are also held to a higher duty of care.
When dealing with children there is also a duty of care involving them. Children cannot reasonably be expected to act like an adult. When looking at cases involving children, the law will expect the child to act as a child of reasonable age, education, and experience.
Businesses must also exhibit duty of care to its patrons. This means that the business must do everything in its power to provide a safe place for visitors, patrons, and others who enter. A business is legally required to operate reasonably under similar circumstances as any other business in their industry would.
When Breach of Duty Occurs
Now that we’ve defined duty of care, we need to look at breach of duty and when it occurs. If a person has been injured by the actions of someone else they can seek damages in the form of compensation by filing a lawsuit that claims negligence. The plaintiff in the lawsuit must be able to prove the following in order to show breach of duty occurred:
- There was a duty of care present
- That duty of care was breached
- Damages occurred as a result of the breach
- The damages were directly caused by the breach
If any of the above are missing from a negligence case it will be difficult for the plaintiff to win the case. All four must be present in order to show negligence on the part of the defendant.
Contact an Erie Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Breach of Duty Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a drunk driving accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party, or their insurance company, to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. represent clients injured because of a car accident in Erie, Millcreek, Harborcreek, Fairview, Meadville and throughout PA. Call 814-273-2010 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2525 W 26th St. Erie, PA 16506 as well as offices in North East, PA and Erie, PA.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.