Now we’ll talk about negligence where an intentional tort is about someone doing something they weren’t supposed to do negligence usually happens when someone doesn’t do something they were supposed to do there are 3 parts to a negligence case duty breach and causation first, duty… heh, “duty” this is your duty not to expose other people to unreasonable risk of harm.
The test for whether what you’re doing is unreasonable is whether a reasonable person in your situation would do the same thing. Your situation includes your basic physical attributes but usually not your mental attributes. Children are compared to other children except when they’re doing something usually only done by adults so basically, it’s up to the court to decide reasonableness they must decide if what you did was too crazy or negligent.
If they do, you’ve breached your duty if they don’t, you’re off the hook they can consider what you were doing and why when deciding whether you were being reasonable, and some actions are more reasonable than others. They can also consider the way things are usually done to see if you were just following the customary practice sometimes you can make yourself seem more reasonable guy warning other people of the danger involved with whatever you’re doing.
Some warnings are a little more effective while others won’t do you much good the court may not even have to decide whether what you did was reasonable if it was also against the law there’s a rule called negligence per se that says if what you did was against the law and you do it anyway and you hurt someone you’ve automatically proven that you acted unreasonably. The one catch is that the law must be designed to deal with something reasonably close to harm you caused so breaking a law against using guns in certain places and ending up shooting someone would count because the law was written to protect people from being shot.
Breaking a law against driving without your lights on at night and then your car exploding would not count even if it hurt someone because that’s not the kind of thing the law was designed to deal with incidentally a malpractice suit where you sue a professional like a doctor or a lawyer for bad service is in many ways just a fancy negligence case, the difference is in the duty where an ordinary person just owes you the duty of acting reasonably, to keep you from being hurt.
When you pay a professional they have the duty of doing at least as good a job as a minimally qualified member of their profession you’ll note I said minimally qualified they don’t have to be the best they don’t even have to be in the middle they just had to be good enough to be a doctor even if that means they were the bottom of the class so now on to breach this part is easy.
If there was a duty did you break it?
Did you put someone else an unreasonable risk of harm? Next is causation. Did you breaching your duty cause harm? It’s always nice when you do something bad and it doesn’t hurt anyone but don’t push your luck and just hope nothing bad happens, if you do breach a duty and something bad happens the court will examine the facts. The test that usually applies is called the “but for” test this just asks would the harm not have happened “but for” the person being sued having breached their duty?
If they had kept their duty would the bad result have been avoided? After all there are times you do something bad but it’s not the reason something bad happens sometimes your negligence can even put you on the hook for someone else’s negligence if you put someone in an unreasonable risk of being harmed by someone else.
You might both be sued even though you didn’t directly hurt anyone, and there you have it.
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