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Understanding Duty of Care in a Personal Injury Claim

personal injury claim duty of careIn a personal injury claim, a duty of care is a legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. To recover compensation after an accident, you must prove the other party owed you a duty of care and breached its obligation by causing your injury.

Our Harrisburg personal injury attorneys can help you establish a case demonstrating the other party’s negligent or reckless actions caused the breach of duty that ultimately led to your injuries.

What is Duty of Care?

In certain scenarios, a person is obligated to act in a reasonable manner to prevent harm to others. Examples include:

  • Motorists have a duty of care to prevent harm by driving with reasonable care, following traffic laws, keeping their vehicles in safe working condition and operating them in a safe manner.
  • Property owners owe guests and visitors a duty of care to keep the property free from hazards that could cause injury.
  • Medical professionals owe a duty of care to treat patients according to the accepted standards of the medical community.
  • Product designers, manufacturers and retailers owe consumers a duty of care to ensure products are not unreasonably dangerous and work as intended.

When is Duty of Care Breached?

A breach of duty occurs when the other party who owed you a duty of care fails to act in a manner that ensures your safety. Acting negligently breaches a duty of care, as the other party fails to act in a way that another reasonable individual or entity would to protect your safety in a similar situation.

In a personal injury lawsuit, you must show proof of the other party’s actions or failure to act. You must also demonstrate how his or her breach of duty caused your injuries.

Examples of Breach of Duty of Care

Breach of duty of care varies based on the type of accident or scenario causing the injury. Examples of breach of duty of care include:

  • Car accidents – Drivers who fail to operate a vehicle in a reasonably safe fashion to ensure safety of others on the road have breached his or her duty of care. Texting while driving or failing to follow traffic laws leading to an accident results in a breach of duty of care.
  • Medical malpractice – Health care providers who make medical errors during surgery, drug administration, or failing to properly inform the patient of known risks associated with a medication or treatment has breached his or her duty of care to the patient.
  • Slip and fall accidents – Property owners who fail to correct hazards that were known or should have been known, or fail to properly warn visitors and guests, has breached his or her duty of care should the visitor or guest sustain an injury due to the hazard.
  • Product liability –  Manufacturers, product designers and retailers may be held responsible for breached duty of care if he or she fails to adequately warn consumers of the dangers associated with the product or provide reasonable instructions on how to safely use the product.

Contact Schmidt Kramer for a Free Consultation

If your injury was caused by a breach of duty of care, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other party. Our personal injury lawyers in Harrisburg will fight to recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact Schmidt Kramer to schedule a free, no obligation consultation today and learn what legal options may be available. You pay no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation in your case.

Call (717) 888-8888 or complete our Free Case Review form now.