When you are injured in an accident, it’s hard to know what to do – particularly if your injury wasn’t caused by a specific person. Tripping over broken concrete, stumbling over potholes, or even slipping on ice in front of a store can all cause serious injury, but who would be at fault? If you believe your injury was caused by the negligence of someone else, you need to understand duty of care. Here’s more about what this is and how courts decide whether someone has failed to carry out this duty.
What Is Duty of Care?
Duty of care is a legal obligation for an individual to consider the safety and wellbeing of others while performing any acts that could possibly cause harm. This harm can be physical, financial, or emotional. For example, if a doctor who is unqualified to perform a certain surgery attempts to perform this surgery on you, that doctor has failed to carry out his duty of care. Similarly, if your accountant knowingly enters fraudulent information on your tax return, your accountant has failed to carry out her duty of care.
It is important to establish duty of care because this is the first step to being able to claim negligence. When you have a legitimate negligence claim, you can file a lawsuit.
How Do Courts Decide Whether Someone Has Failed to Carry Out This Duty?
Let’s say that you trip over broken concrete in front of a business and sue the business for breach of duty of care. First, the judge will consider the circumstances around your claim. He or she will probably consider the location of the sidewalk and what you were doing on the sidewalk at the time of your injury.
For example, if you were sneaking around to the back of the building to break in and tripped over broken concrete, the judge probably won’t rule in your favor. However, if you were a customer walking to the front door during business hours, the judge is more likely to decide that the business owners owed you a duty of care.
Once the judge affirms that a duty of care is owed, the jury decides if there was a breach of duty. It is now the jury’s task to decide whether the business owner was negligent in carrying out their duty of care.
What Can You Do If You Have Been Injured Because of Someone’s Negligence?
If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, call Inkelaar Law. Our personal injury professionals are happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have about duty of care. Then, if you decide that your injury has been caused because someone failed to perform their duty of care, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury. Give us a call today at (877) 537-4665 or contact us online.