What Is Duty of Care in a Personal Injury Claim?

personal injury law book and gavelIn a personal injury claim, a “duty of care” refers to one party’s legal obligation to ensure the safety of others by acting or refraining from acting in a way that prevents causing the other party injury.

To receive compensation after an accident, you will need to help you prove the other party owed you a duty of care, and broke its obligation by causing your injury.

Find out if you may be entitled to compensation after an accident by contacting Roden Law to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Our Macon personal injury lawyers will help you determine if the at-fault party breached its duty of care by causing the accident that resulted in your injury.

When Am I Owed a Duty of Care?

To determine if the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, you must be able to show the at-fault party was responsible for ensuring your safety. Typically, this includes situations where one party is obligated to act in a manner to keep others safe and free from harm.

In a personal injury claim, duty of care often depends on the type of situation:

  • Auto accidents: Motorists have a duty to drive with reasonable care, follow traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely to avoid causing an accident.
  • Slip and fall accidents: Property owners have a duty of care to keep their property free of hazards that could injure a guest or visitor.
  • Medical malpractice: Health care providers have a duty of care to provide treatment to patients that upholds the standards of the medical community.
  • Product liability: Manufacturers, product designers and retailers have a duty of care to ensure their products work as intended and are not unreasonably dangerous for consumer use.

What Is a Breach of Duty?

When the at-fault party fails to live up to its obligation to ensure your safety, it breaches its duty of care. This occurs when the at-fault party causes your injury due to its negligence.

To prove the at-fault party was negligent in causing your injuries, you must show how the at-fault party acted, or failed to act, in a way that a reasonably prudent individual or company would under similar circumstances.

When your attorney reviews your claim, he or she will work to establish a causal link between the at-fault party’s breach of duty and your injuries:

  • Auto accidents: The at-fault driver failed to drive in a reasonably safe manner that would ensure the safety of others sharing the roadway. For example, the at-fault driver may have been texting while driving and crashed into another vehicle.
  • Slip and fall accidents: The owner of a property failed to fix a hazard he or she knew about, or should have known about, or failed to adequately warn visitors that a hazard exists on the property.
  • Medical malpractice: A health care provider makes an error during a medical procedure that causes the patient to suffer an injury or death.
  • Product liability: The manufacturer, designer or seller of a product failed to warn consumers of the inherent dangers associated with a product or marketed a product that is unreasonably dangerous.

How Can I Hold Someone Liable for Breach of Duty?

To hold a person, company or entity liable for breach of duty, you must prove the at-fault party acted negligently during the accident. There are four elements that must be present to prove negligence:

  1. The at-fault party owed you a duty of care
  2. That at-fault party breached the duty of care owed to you
  3. The at-fault party’s breach of duty of care caused your injury
  4. You suffered damages as a result of the accident

Depending on the type of claim you file, an attorney will work to show that you have suffered an injury and financial losses due to the at-fault party’s negligence. Your attorney will use evidence to help you build a case that shows the at-fault party owed you a duty of care and failed to uphold its obligation to keep you safe.

Contact Roden Law To Schedule a Free Consultation

If you believe you suffered an injury due to another party’s breach of duty, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation.

Roden Law’s Savannah personal injury lawyers understand the difficulties many accident victims face when filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. We have represented numerous negligence claims and understand how to effectively build a case that may help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge upfront fees for our service. We only require payment if we recover compensation for your claim.