Is Duty of Care A Core Concept In A Personal Injury Case?

Whenever a claimant in a personal injury case tries to file a lawsuit, the court wants proof that the defendant had a duty of care towards the plaintiff in the eyes of the law. Without that proof, the plaintiff cannot pursue the proposed lawsuit.

Every person has a duty of care towards others. One must display reasonable care; must take needed steps, in order to keep from hurting others

How duty of care might not be of significance in a personal injury case?

It might not be of significance if the victim had been negligent. The Personal Injury Lawyer in Barrie knows that the victim’s level of negligence would need to have been greater than the level of negligence shown by the defendant. A defect in some aspect of the traffic system would remove the need to show the defendant’s duty of care, following a car accident. For instance, it might be shown that a certain traffic light was not functioning properly.

By the same token, it is possible that some part in the defendant’s car was defective at the time of the car accident. Assuming that the defendant remained unaware of that particular fact, the defendant’s duty of care would not be of significance.

When would someone be expected to adhere to a higher than normal standard for the duty of care?

Such an expectation would make an appearance in a personal injury case if the defendant and the plaintiff had a special relationship. During a trial, the jury would hear from an expert, so that it could become familiar with the nature of such a relationship. The jury would decide whether or not the defendant had abandoned his or her duty of care.

What are some examples of a special relationship? Those are usually some type of paired relationship, such as these:

• Parent—child
• Teacher—student
• Doctor—patient
• Lawyer—client
• Bus driver—passengers

There is another time when someone’s role places on him or her some sort of added burden, with respect to the concept that is known as the duty of care. A situation that gives rise to such a time can develop whenever someone’s role calls for the ability to foresee possible problems.

For instance, the person managing a grocery store would need to foresee what could happen, in the event that someone spilled some liquid on the floor. If that liquid were not cleaned up, a customer might slip and fall at that slippery spot.

It would be the manager’s job to foresee that unwanted possibility. Then the manager would be expected to act, and to order removal of that dangerous liquid. So, the manager would have met his or her duty of care, the special duty to foresee a possible accident.