Breach of duty is a broad legal term that discusses the failure of one party to hold up his or her end of a spoken or unspoken agreement with another party. Breach of duty is a main pillar of many lawsuits, especially personal injury lawsuits. In order to successfully prove breach of duty, Florida individuals and courts must consider a number of different factors that will vary based on each individual scenario. Individuals who feel that they were harmed as a result of another’s breach of duty should contact an experience Florida lawyer for advice and guidance.
Duty of Care Florida
In order to understand breach of duty, it is first important to understand the term “duty of care.” Duty of care is the concept of legal responsibility. At all times, every person in the U.S. has certain legal duties to act in a reasonable way so that others are not injured by his or her actions. The duty of care is more specialized when an agreement or professional relationship is involved, such as doctors and their patients or construction contractors and their clients.
Common Duty of Care Example
For example, when driving a vehicle, every driver has a duty of care to obey all traffic signals and laws and drive in a reasonably safe manner. This is the pillar of personal injury lawsuits for car accidents. If one driver runs a red light and crashes into another driver, the victim can file a lawsuit claiming that the other driver committed breach of duty to exercise safety on the road.
Professional Duty of Care
Professionals have a stricter duty of care than the average individual. For example, doctors have a duty of care to act reasonably just as common individuals do. However, doctors also have a duty of care to act in the same manner and with the same level of professionalism as other doctors with similar knowledge and expertise. This is why doctors and other professionals are held to stricter expectations, and why even the slightest error or miscalculation can result in a lawsuit.
The same concept can also be applied to public and private businesses by acting in the same manner as other reasonable businesses would in similar circumstances. For example, if there is a spill on the ground, a business is expected to clean the spill or place a warning sign to indicate that there is a risk of slipping and falling. If a business fails to do so, it may be liable for failing to act in a reasonable manner to avoid causing harm to its customers.
Establishing Breach of Duty
Nearly all personal injury lawsuits are based on the duty of care and the breach of this duty. Therefore, one of the first steps in a personal injury lawsuit is to examine the extent of the defendant’s breach of duty toward the plaintiff. The plaintiff is the injured party filing the lawsuit, and the defendant is the individual being sued.
Many lawsuits require the following to be proven:
- The defendant had a certain breach of duty toward the plaintiff
- The defendant committed breach of duty either by negligence or intentionally
- The plaintiff experienced harm or injury – namely financial or physical harm
- The plaintiff’s harm was caused by the breach of duty in question
Burden of Proof
When a plaintiff files a lawsuit claiming that a breach of duty occurred, it is typically the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove the above elements. This is referred to as the burden of proof. The plaintiff must collect sufficient evidence to convince the court that a duty of care did indeed exist and that the defendant violated this duty of care.
Hiring a Lawyer Breach of Duty Lawyer in Orlando
For those who feel that they are victims of a breach of duty, Florida lawyers can provide critical guidance and legal counsel. A lawyer can help determine whether or not the case is valid and how best to go about pursuing and filing the case. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer can also help throughout the legal process by answering questions, representing the plaintiff in court, and handling necessary documentation and paperwork.
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