As part of the service with Accident Advice Helpline, we aim to make the claim process as uncomplicated and transparent as possible. From time to time we post these handy blog articles to help our clients better understand the claim process. In this instance we’ll be having a look at what constitutes a duty of care.
The duty of care
The duty of care is a standard in the law of tort. It is a duty owed by one person, legal or natural, to another to act in a reasonable manner. The duty of care forbids a party from committing or omitting any reasonably foreseeable acts which may bring harm to the other party. Now that we understand what a duty of care is, it’s time to find out when a duty of care arises.
When does a duty of care arise?
A duty of care arises in a number of circumstances, these include:
- A pre-existing relationship between the parties, particularly a relationship of trust such as between parents and children, patient and carer, employer and employee. This may also include a service provider and those using its services, for example a local authority and the users of a public swimming pool.
- Another party has acted in a negligent way or failed to act in a proper way and thus caused harm to another individual. For example this may include someone who creates a slip or trip hazard in public, which then causes someone to suffer a slip, trip or fall.
Defining a reasonable standard of care
Defining a reasonable standard of care is something that has concerned the judiciary since the adoption of the neighbour principle in Donoghue v Stevenson in 1932. Many jurists have developed tests in several stages to find whether the duty of care has been breached. However there is still ongoing debate as to what constitutes an objectively reasonable standard of care. The simplest explanation is that someone must not act in a way that a reasonable person would foresee harm coming to another person.
Hopefully this article has been informative for you. Although we aim to educate the public regarding the claim process, Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm specialising in all areas of personal injury compensation. If you’ve been injured and someone else was to blame, call us on freephone 0800 689 0500 to find out how you could make a 100% no-win-no-fee* claim for compensation.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown