Accidents happen more often than most people think. In terms of traffic crashes alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed 66,000 injury cases in 2013. This is a large number – and it is only one cause of injury. Just imagine how much this figure would grow if you factor in the other causes of accidents, from simple slips and falls to defective products on the market.
The injury statistics are sure to raise a lot of questions. From a legal perspective, however, there is only one thing to ask: who shoulders the legal responsibility for the said accident? This is where the duty of care becomes important.
What is the Duty of Care?
In its simplest definition, duty of care means a person’s legal obligation to prevent harm from befalling another. This is easier to understand under the context of real-life scenarios. For instance, a doctor has the duty to help a patient recover. Manufacturers have to ensure that the products they distribute are safe to use and not likely to cause injury. In both situations, the doctor and the manufacturer have a duty of care to the parties involved.
Why Should You Care About It?
You might be curious about why the duty of care is worthy of a discussion. It’s because, in a sense, it has a major role in most – if not all – injury and wrongful death cases. As OcalaInjuryHelp.com puts it, it is necessary to prove that the plaintiff’s injury or death “was caused by the conduct of the defendant(s) to receive the compensation.”
In other words, the duty of care is a crucial basis of negligence claims in lawsuits. As negligence cases go, it is important to establish that the defendant (willingly or otherwise) committed a breach of their duty of care to the plaintiff. If the claimant cannot establish this fact, let alone the idea that the other party had this duty, the court would not find any merit to the claim.
The duty of care is more than a buzzword we hear in the news. It is an important notion that everyone should be aware of, because it could be the defining factor for compensation in an injury case.