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Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that the courts and legal system will use the concept of a ‘reasonable person’ to determine if negligence does indeed exist in a personal injury case or claim. You need to understand who this fictitious character is for this reason.If you are confused as to how the concept of the ‘reasonable person’ works in personal injury law, you can ask your personal injury lawyer. He or she will likely tell you the following.

All people have the responsibility of duty of care towards others. This means that they must act with a certain standard of care towards others. This standard of care is defined by considering what a normal (or reasonable) person would do in the same situation.

The ‘reasonable person’ standard and ‘negligence’

Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that a person acts negligently when he or she fails to do something or fails not to do something that a reasonable or normal person would in the same situation. A good example would be drinking and driving. When you drive, you are held to the same standard of care that a reasonable person would be. Since a reasonable person would never drink and drive, you can be guilty of negligence if you drink and drive.

What would a reasonable person do?

A reasonable person would never run a stop sign.

A reasonable person would keep his or her dog on a leash at all times. This would prevent unforeseen dog attacks on others.

Reasonable people would never shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. This person would realize that this action would cause people to panic and flee for their lives. Chaos would ensue. There may even be some unnecessary violence and (in rare instances) lives lost because of the unnecessary pandemonium.

Reasonable people inspect their property and make repairs/renovations accordingly. They know that failure to do so could result in personal injury accidents like slip and fall accidents which they would ultimately be held liable for.

People aren’t perfect

Your personal injury lawyer in Vacaville knows that people aren’t perfect. Therefore, a reasonable person would also not be perfect. People are only expected to act in a sensible manner at all times and in all situations. Therefore, proving negligence existed in some personal injury claims and cases may be difficult to do.

Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit isn’t rocket science

Now that you know some of the answers to the most commonly asked questions in personal injury law, you and your personal injury lawyer may agree that while it can be lengthy at times, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit isn’t rocket science!