Personal injury lawsuits of all types usually come down to a determination of whether the defendant was acting in a reasonable manner. Drivers involved in car accidents, doctors accused of malpractice, and businesses involved in slip and fall incidents are all subject to the question of whether their behavior was reasonable before it caused an accident.
This question is so important because personal injury liability hinges on reasonableness. If a defendant is determined to have been acting in a reasonable manner, that defendant avoids liability, and the plaintiff loses out on compensation. When a defendant acts in an unreasonable manner, that defendant is liable to pay for damages caused by their actions.
For that reason, a personal injury lawyer in Miami can assist you in finding out whether you have a valid claim for compensation by examining whether the person who caused your injury was acting in a reasonable manner. In this blog post, we’ll explain in more detail what constitutes “reasonable action” in personal injury cases of all types.
Determining Liability in a Personal Injury Case
When an innocent accident victim is injured because of another person’s actions, the law allows that accident victim to recover compensation for their injuries. But who provides the compensation? Generally, liability for the injuries is assigned to the person or entity who caused the injuries to be suffered. In some cases involving a small number of parties, that determination is easy. In other cases with more complicated backgrounds and factual circumstances, the liability determination can be much more complicated.
But irrespective of who caused an injury, liability only extends against people or entities who were acting in a wrongful manner. That wrongfulness can occur to several degrees – including negligence, recklessness, and intentional behavior – but most often, personal injury cases are brought because of negligent misconduct. Because negligence cases are so common, our Miami personal injury lawyers are well versed in the topic.
The Standard of Reasonable Care
In negligence cases, a plaintiff has to show four elements: duty, breach, causation, and injury. The element of breach speaks to whether the defendant’s behavior violated, or breached, a standard of care. While specialized standards of care exist in some cases, most negligence cases arise under a standard of care which is called reasonable care. In short, the law recognizes that every person has a duty to conduct themselves in a manner that does not cause harm to other people – in other words, to conduct themselves reasonably.
What does it mean to conduct yourself reasonably? The answer is one that personal injury lawyers know all too well: it depends.
How to Define Reasonable Care in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Reasonable care is defined as the manner in which an ordinary person of similar age, ability, and circumstance would conduct themselves in a similar situation. Generally, reasonable care coincides with existing laws, rules, and norms. For example, a reasonable driver would fully stop at stop signs, drive within the speed limit, and otherwise follow traffic laws. When a driver violates traffic laws, it is easy to conclude that the driver was not acting reasonably, which could give rise to legal liability.
In cases that are less clear, a jury is asked to determine what reasonable care looks like, and whether the defendant in question acted in accordance with that standard. Thus, presenting evidence on how reasonable people would act is often a critical part of a personal injury lawsuit. When being represented by our team of personal injury lawyers, Miami accident victims can rest assured that we will aggressively argue their case.
Contact a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Aigen Law Firm exclusively deals with personal injury cases because we are passionate about assisting accident victims and their families. Our clients come first in everything we do, and our dedication to our clients is at the forefront of our legal practice. If we’re able to take your case, we will advocate for your interests to the fullest extent that the law allows.
We’re ready to seek justice on your behalf today. Contact us to set up a free, no-obligation initial consultation today.
This content has been reviewed and approved by lawyers at the Aigen Law Firm.