The reasonable person standard is designed to show how the typical person would react and behave in any given situation. This tool can be used to help establish fault in a personal injury claim.
If your attorney can show that the defendant did not meet the reasonable person standard, you could secure the restitution you will need to rebuild your life. Our personal injury lawyers are here to help you get justice.
The Reasonable Person Standard, Explained
Understanding the reasonable person standard can be challenging, as it refers to a hypothetical as opposed to a real person. This can help the jury understand the defendant’s behavior following an accident, though. The judge and jury can compare the defendant’s actions to what would be considered a “reasonable person” if they were in the same situation.
The reasonable person standard does not mean the defendant is expected to act perfectly or make all the right decisions, though. However, you will need to show that negligence occurred for your case to be successful. Building a claim for liability can be complicated, as someone making a mistake does not necessarily equate to negligence.
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Examples of Reasonable Persons in Injury Claims
In many personal injury cases, the defendant’s behavior can be compared to the reasonable person standard. For example, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident and the property owner failed to maintain the premises, the jury would compare the property owner’s actions to that of other property owners.
Other reasonable property owners would have made necessary repairs. Failure to do so in this case would amount to negligence.
Another example could be negligent driving. The jury would compare the actions of the driver who struck you to that of a reasonable person. Here, other drivers may ignore their cell phones, adhere to state and federal traffic laws, and not get behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol. Negligent driving does not meet the reasonable person standard.
These are just a couple examples of the reasonable person standard in actual personal injury claim instances. If you have questions about how the reasonable person standard could be applied to your case, reach out to your personal injury lawyer for more information.
How the Reasonable Person Standard Could Affect Your Injury Claim
You will need to show that the four following elements of negligence have been met to prove negligence in your personal injury claim:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
The reasonable person standard shows that the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached that duty of care. It also establishes that the other party’s actions could be considered negligence and that you suffered from that negligence.
Any other reasonable person would have taken action to prevent the injury or accident from occurring. Your attorney will be tasked with proving negligence based on a preponderance of the evidence to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
Exceptions to the Reasonable Person Standard
You may be surprised to learn that there are exceptions to the reasonable person standard. For example, children may not be held to the same standard as adults would. This is, in part, because children do not have the same of the following as adults do:
- Life experience
- Decision-making abilities
- Awareness of their surroundings
Other individuals and entities who could be held to a higher standard than the reasonable person standard include:
- Healthcare providers such as physicians, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospitals
- Commercial trucking drivers
- Nursing home caregivers or assisted living facility nurses
- Public transportation drivers
- Emergency first responders
- Police officers and other law enforcement officials
These are just a few of the parties who may not be held to the reasonable person standard. Generally, these individuals will be held to a greater standard, which could be beneficial for your case. Your attorney can give you a better idea of how to handle your injury claim if the negligent party belongs to one of the previously mentioned parties.
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How You Could Have Suffered an Injury
You could have suffered many kinds of accidents or injuries. These could include:
- Rear-end car accidents
- T-bone accidents involving a bus or truck
- Premises liability accident caused by a loose floorboard
- Medical malpractice because your anesthesiologist failed to sedate you properly
- A work injury because an electrician you worked with left live wires exposed
Your lawyer could also use the reasonable person standard in a case based on your loved one’s passing from an injury caused by negligence.
Get Help from an Injury Law Firm Today
If someone else’s negligence or misconduct caused your injuries, you might have the right to fair restitution for your damages. Get help bringing the at-fault party to justice when you contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers.
Call for a no-cost, risk-free consultation today. Get started on your case.