Breach of Duty: What It Means, and How You Prove It in Court

Breach of Duty What It Means, and How You Prove It in Court

In some personal injury cases or even some criminal cases, you will encounter the breach of duty concept. It matters quite a bit in many different lawsuits. If you can establish breach of duty, or if your lawyer can, you might collect some money if the jury decides in your favor.

We’ll discuss breach of duty in detail now. We’ll cover what it means and also how you can prove it in court during a trial.

What is Breach of Duty?

Breach of duty means that someone, or possibly some entity, like a company, owed you a particular behavior. They did not fulfill that obligation, meaning they exhibited negligent judgment. Breach of duty and negligence often go hand in hand from a legal standpoint.

How Can You Prove Breach of Duty?

Gathering evidence to prove breach of duty becomes crucial if you’re facing off against an individual or entity in a personal injury case. Usually, the proof you’ll gather depends on what the person or entity you allege harmed you did or didn’t do.

Let’s run through a few examples.

Medical Malpractice

Most doctors have medical malpractice insurance. That’s because medical malpractice happens relatively often.

With medical malpractice, the doctor had a professional responsibility. They must give you adequate care, and if they fail you egregiously, that likely means they didn’t meet the care standard in their profession. In this case, other doctors and the medical community at large set the care standard.

If you can prove that the doctor worked for twenty hours before operating on you, that clearly indicates breach of duty. They should have gotten a full night’s sleep before attempting an operation.

If the doctor didn’t put on their glasses and gave you the wrong pills by accident, that’s negligence and breach of duty as well. If you can get an eyewitness who tells the court that they say this behavior, you should win your lawsuit.

Drunk Drivers

Drunk drivers usually demonstrate breach of duty. They had a duty to you not to hit your car with their vehicle after drinking at the bar all night. In this case, societal expectation determines the duty the other driver had toward you.

If the driver also drove 90 miles per hour in a 35 zone, that’s probably not just breach of duty but also depraved indifference. This driver will likely face criminal as well as civil charges.

You should produce video evidence that shows the other driver’s behavior if any exists. Maybe you can get some smartphone footage that shows the crash, or perhaps you can find traffic camera footage. You might also get footage that shows the driver at the bar just before they drove, throwing back shot after shot.

Defective Products

Maybe a defective product hurts you. If so, you can bring civil charges against the company that made it.

In this instance, the company breached its duty if it did not test the product sufficiently before it released it. The company owes you a duty as a consumer. If they didn’t test the product very well, and it had some faulty components, one of which hurt you, you can bring a civil action against them.

Maybe you can subpoena the company’s research and development team. If they will say, under oath, that they did no testing or very little testing before this product hit the store shelves, you can probably win your case. You can prove breach of duty if an overseas entity testifies that they made the product using secondhand components as well.

If you consider it, you can probably think about many other civil matters where breach of duty comes into play. If someone’s dog gets loose and bites you, they had a duty. They should keep the dog on a leash or behind a fence.

If a store mops the floor and doesn’t put down a wet floor sign, you can sue them if you slip and fall. Again, they had an obligation, and they did not fulfill it.

This concept will come into play in many courtroom battles. If you can prove breach of duty, you’ll usually win.

Breach of Duty: What It Means, and How You Prove It in Court

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