One of the key factors in any negligence or personal injury case is the reasonable person standard. Before a third party can be held accountable for an injury caused by negligence, the court must decide whether the party acted the same as a “reasonable person” would have in the same situation. If there was a failure to behave with the same level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised, negligence is present. At Winkler Kurtz, LLP., we have helped countless clients receive compensation for their injuries and will fight for you to achieve your desired resolution. Continue reading below to learn more about the reasonable person standard.
The Reasonable Person Standard
In injury cases, the “reasonable person” is an imaginary person who would approach any situation with appropriate levels of caution and reasonably take action. The reasonable person standard was created to provide the courts and juries with an objective test that jurors can use to determine if the defendant acted as others would have in the same situation or if their actions would constitute negligence. A reasonable person does not have to be perfect. Mistakes are often made, and when the error is considered sensible under the circumstances, that person may not be liable. It’s essential to keep in mind that some injuries occur in unavoidable accidents.
It may be impossible to determine what someone did in the moments leading up to the incident in some cases. The definition of a reasonable person under the reasonable person standard can shift depending on the context of the situation. Here are some examples of certain variables under this standard:
- Ability – A person lacking the physical or mental capacity to act as a reasonable person cannot be held to the reasonable person standard. In some cases, there is someone in a custodial role that can be held liable.
- Age – Children are an exception to this rule. Younger individuals lack the experience and development expected in an adult, so they are typically held to a standard based on their general age and what a child within their age group would have done in a given situation.
- Profession – High-level professionals and authority figures like doctors and police officers are held to a higher standard than the average person. They possess a higher level of training that corresponds with their job expectations.
Application of the Reasonable Person Standard
If you are dealing with a personal injury claim, you may be wondering how this standard is applied to a case. Our team would like to provide an example of this standard in effect. Consider a rear-end automobile accident. In this scenario, your property was damaged, and you were injured through no fault of your own. A successful injury claim relies on proving the following elements:
- You were injured physically, mentally, or financially by another party.
- The party’s actions directly contributed to your injury.
- The party that caused your injury had a responsibility to behave reasonably, and that would have prevented the injury.
When you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for the damages. Working with our experienced attorneys at Winkler Kurtz, LLP. can help you recoup the cost of property damage, medical bills, and the life-altering expense of rebuilding your life after an injury. Our team will help you file your claim, build a strong case, negotiate with the defendant or their representatives, and fight for you ardently in court. Your case will become our case as we begin to understand your specific needs and situation. Start getting the help you need by scheduling a free consultation with our team. Contact us today to learn more or to start your claim.