Duty of Care

A legal obligation to exercise reasonable care while performing acts that could foreseeably harm others.
Duty of Care

The duty of care, a fundamental concept in negligence law, is established when individuals or entities have a special relationship or responsibility toward a potential victim and a foreseeable risk of harm, which refers to a risk that a reasonable person would anticipate under the circumstances, exists. This duty imposes a legal obligation to avoid causing harm or injury to others and act reasonably.

The standard for determining the extent of the duty of care is not subjective, but rather based on a reasonably prudent person’s actions under similar circumstances. The level of care required may vary depending on the specific situation, such as the relationship between the parties, the nature of the activity, and the potential for harm.

Duty of Care is crucial in many accident and injury cases, as plaintiffs must establish that the defendant was obligated to a legal duty of care before proving a breach of that duty. Common examples include:

  • A property owner’s duty is to maintain safe premises for visitors.
  • A doctor’s duty is to provide competent medical care to patients.
  • A manufacturer’s duty is to produce safe products.

It’s crucial to understand that failure to uphold the required duty of care can lead to severe consequences. If the other elements of negligence are also proven, this failure can result in significant liability for damages.

Term found in articles:

    Choose Practice Area