Across all industries, duty of care exists among individuals. This includes employers, employees, medical professionals, and drivers.
Duty of care can be described as diligence to others and their safety. It can vary significantly across different fields and situations.
When filing any type of personal injury or accident claim, understanding what duty of care is and how it can be applied is important. It can help prove liability for a case and ensure that a claimant receives the benefits they are entitled to.
To help you learn more about duty of care and how it is established, here is a breakdown of all you need to know.
That said, should you have any questions about duty of care and/or how it applies to your case, you can speak with the proven trial attorneys of Schwartzapfel Lawyers by visiting us online or calling 1-516-342-2200 today.
What Is Duty of Care?
In tort law, the definition of duty of care is an obligation that an individual or party has to make decisions to prevent harm to individuals or parties they are obligated to protect.
Those with a duty to other people or parties have a legal obligation to uphold their duty of care to prevent injuries from occurring. This can be a fiduciary duty, a business decision, or a physical standard of care in situations such as car accidents, product liability, as well as other similar circumstances.
While there is the general duty of care and moral obligation that any reasonable person has to act in good faith towards our fellow humans, this is different from a legal duty of care that can be prosecuted in a court of law.
Establishing Duty of Care
To thoroughly understand what duty of care is, it is first important to learn how to identify whether an individual or party has a duty to protect another party or individual.
A duty is a clear or implied responsibility to others. Decisions or actions that can have an impact on other people are part of an individual or party’s duty of care obligations.
To establish duty of care, you must determine whether an individual or party’s faulty actions can cause harm to others and whether an injury or incident could have been prevented by the at-fault party.
Another way to establish duty of care is to refer to legislation or official guidelines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides legislation regarding the legal duties of different types of employers, companies, and businesses. This is the minimum level of care required by law.
According to OSHA guidelines, certain parties must abide by their duties, and therefore duty of care, according to the laws that correspond with their industry or practice descriptions.
This can also be true for other types of legislation, such as traffic laws, that are the duty of every driver to follow.
What Are Examples of Duty of Care?
To help you further understand what duty of care is and what it looks like, the following are a few examples of how it can be applied:
On Construction Sites
The construction and utility industry is among the most dangerous industries because of the many hazards workers are exposed to every day. Construction site supervisors and employers have a duty of care to their employers to maintain a work environment that is as safe as possible and reduces the risk of harm.
For example, if a site supervisor does not repair a broken handrail on a staircase or perform maintenance checks on electrical equipment, they are neglecting their duty of care because of the foreseeable harm that they could cause. If a worker falls while using the staircase or gets electrocuted using faulty equipment, their employer can be held responsible, and the employee can take legal action.
In Hospitals and Clinics
Medical negligence can have adverse effects on a patient’s health and physical well-being. Healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses have a duty of care to their patients to ensure they receive the medical treatment they need and are not further injured in the process.
For example, doctors have a duty to prescribe patients the right medication they need as well as run tests and promptly assess them for physical ailments. If a doctor administers the wrong medication or treatment or fails to diagnose a patient with a serious illness, they have filed their duty of care and may be held responsible.
On the Road
Motor vehicle crashes can cause significant harm and injury. Because of this, drivers on the road have a duty of care to each other, as well as pedestrians, to drive safely to prevent crashes from happening.
Two well-known traffic laws are that drivers have to stop at red lights and abide by local speed limits. Someone who does not abide by these laws can hit a pedestrian or cause a crash, in which case they may be held responsible for consequent injuries due to a breach of duty of care.
There are several more circumstances in which duty of care can be applied. For more information about duty of care, you can speak with the seasoned legal professionals of Schwartzapfel Lawyers by calling us today at 1-516-342-2200. Alternatively, you can schedule your free consultation when you visit us online.
Duty of Care and Liability
An individual or party that fails to uphold its duty of care may be held responsible for an injury or an incident that occurs as a result.
When filing a personal injury case or any other type of accident case, understanding duty of care can help you determine why the incident happened and whether the defendant’s actions put them at fault.
What Is Liability?
While liability and duty of care seem very similar in definition, being liable can be described as being legally responsible for a harmful event or incident.
It is very closely related to duty of care in that a party who is liable for an incident has neglected their duty of care and therefore did not uphold their legal duties.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Case?
To successfully prove liability for your injuries, there are several critical steps you should take upon filing a claim:
Establish Duty of Care
Establishing a duty of care requires determining the cause of an incident and whether it could have been prevented if an at-fault party upheld their duty.
Part of this step is also determining what duties an at-fault party was obligated to fulfill and whether they upheld their obligations.
There are three (3) types of levels of duty to keep in mind in duty of care cases: negligent, reckless, and strict liability. To win a duty of care breach lawsuit, it’s important to know what the controlling standard of reasonable care is and then proceed accordingly.
For instance, if you were injured at work, you may want to examine whether an employer’s negligence was the cause of your injury. In the case of a motor vehicle crash, a police report may determine if a driver was upholding traffic laws and if any negligence of the law led to the crash.
Once you have established duty of care, for your claim to succeed, you will need to collect evidence regarding how and why the incident or injury occurred.
This can include witness statements of those who saw the incident, camera footage of the incident, videos taken at the site where the incident occurred, as well as medical documentation of the injuries in question. Oftentimes, police and first responder reports can also be used to strengthen cases involving personal injury, liability, and duty of care.
Hire the Right Lawyer
Proving liability and collecting evidence about an incident can be difficult, and not everyone may have the time or resources to access the requisite documentation. Moreover, at-fault parties may deny responsibility and refuse to provide compensation for any injuries suffered as a result of the violation(s) for which they stand accused.
Here, the right lawyer can help you gather the information you need while also standing up for you against the opposing party. Additionally, they can ensure that you receive the money and benefits you are entitled to.
To file your personal injury claim or for the answers to your questions concerning proving liability, you can reach out to the experienced law firm of Schwartzapfel Lawyers by dialing 1-516-342-2200 today!
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
Employers, businesses, drivers, and workers all have a duty of care to keep themselves and others safe in various situations.
Duty of care is often established by legislation that highlights obligations certain parties are required to uphold. However, duty of care can also be implied. Any decision or action that can have an impact on others, whether helpful or harmful, is part of an individual or party’s duty of care.
Individuals or parties who are negligent of their duties, or who make decisions that cause harm to others, can be held liable for the injuries they cause.
Duty of care is extremely important in proving liability. The right lawyer can help you stand up to at-fault parties and will use their knowledge of the law to ensure that you receive the full financial compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, our duty is to help you. To this end, it would be our honor and privilege to fight for you every step of the way. Simply dial 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online to get started with your claim or to learn more about duty of care. Note: One phone call could save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road, so don’t delay! Instead, contact the seasoned team of skilled trial lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers and take control of your future now!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!
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Duty of Care | Legal Information Institute | Cornell Law School
About OSHA | Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Liability – Legal Information Institute | Cornell Law School