How Duty Of Care Works In A Personal Injury Claim

When you are injured, you are not allowed to simply take legal action against anyone associated with the accident. Instead, you must show that the other party was responsible for your injuries. Your personal injury lawyer will help you determine which parties might have a duty of care.

An Example of Duty of Care

If you are in a store, the store owner has a duty of care to make sure that the store is safe. If the store owner breaches this duty by not being reasonably cautious, the courts might find the store owner to be at fault for any injuries you suffer.

When Duty of Care Does Not Exist

An individual might not have duty of care if something happens that is beyond their control. For example, if you were injured while in a store during a natural disaster, such as a tornado, the store owner would not be responsible for your injuries.

Also, a duty of care might not exist in some circumstances. For example, if you are inside the store after hours because you entered without permission, the store owner might not be responsible if you become injured. However, your attorney might argue that the store wasn't clear about not being open. It might be closed temporarily for renovations but not include a sign warning visitors and the front door might have been left open, for example.

Special Relationships

If you have a special relationship with an individual, they will be held to higher standards. For example, if you have a doctor-patient relationship, your doctor will be held to a higher standard if you are injured while under their care. If you are able to establish a special relationship, the defendant will have a greater obligation to you.

What to Do When Duty of Care Is Unclear

You will never want to state that a party is not at fault. Instead, you should always speak with a personal injury attorney. An attorney who has experience with the type of accident you had will be better able to determine whether you have a special relationship.

After you have determined which party is at fault, you must then prove that you suffered damages and calculate the damages you have suffered. Then, with the help of a personal injury attorney, you can begin the process of negotiating a settlement or file a lawsuit and fight your case in court.