Breach of Duty

The Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorneys at
Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon 
explain

Breach of Duty

In addition to proving that the defendant owed a duty of care, the plaintiff must also prove that the defendant breached that duty as well as prove that the plaintiff was injured and the injury was caused by the breach of duty.  If you have questions about whether your injury was the result of a breach of duty, call the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon for a free consultation.  

We all have a duty to act reasonably.  When someone is injured by our negligent or intentional actions, we may be liable to pay for their injuries.  But when do we breach that duty of care?  That is usually a question for the jury to decide.  Some situations are clearer than others.  For example, if you run a red light and t-bone a car that was travelling through an intersection, the issue of breach may be pretty clear.  Other situations are not so clear.  An experienced personal injury attorney can assess the specific facts of the case to determine the likelihood whether a jury would find that the defendant breached their duty of care. 

In order to determine whether there was a breach of duty, we typically must determine what a "reasonable person" would do.  This is an objective standard.  Even if the defendant thought they were acting reasonably, he may still be liable if the jury determines that a reasonable person would not have acted in that manner.  The "reasonable person" standard is used often in tort actions.  This standard takes into consideration difference in physical and mental capabilities.  For example, if a defendant has a physical impairment, the jury would have to decide whether a person with that physical impairment acted reasonably under the circumstances.  

In some cases, a defendant will be held to a higher standard.  For example, professionals who practice in an industry that requires a specialized knowledge may be held to a higher standard.  Attorneys and doctors are notable examples.  Because attorneys and doctors and other professionals possess knowledge superior to the ordinary person, they are expected to act in a manner consistent with their education, training and knowledge.  

Here are some examples of breach of duty: A doctor may breach his duty of care by negligently caring for a patient.  A homeowner may breach his duty of care to invitees by not fixing a dangerous condition on the property and not warning the guest.  A manufacturer may breach its duty to consumers by negligently making and selling a product that causes injury.  A store may breach its duty to customers by not cleaning up a spill that causes a customer to slip and fall.  Every case is different and whether a breach occurred depends on those facts. 

 The Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon regularly assess cases for breach of duty.  Give us a call, text us, or email us to talk about your injury case.  We'll have a no stress, no obligation conversation about your case.  
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