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What is a standard of care?

It's a horrible thought to consider your child being hurt in any way. Most of the time, people are very cautious around children and take care not to injure them. Unfortunately, there are some careless people in the world who may not take driving or other acts seriously. By failing to exercise a reasonable standard of care, these individuals put other people's lives at risk.

When you have a case against a negligent person, one of the things you may have to do is prove that the person was required to meet a certain standard of care in the situation. For instance, a doctor needs to perform accurate procedures that meet with medical standards or drivers should not drive erratically.

When you have to determine if someone has acted with reasonable care or has met the standard of care required, you need to base this judgment on how a reasonable person would react in the same situation given the opportunity. For instance, if your child is hurt with a misdiagnosis by his or her doctor, would another doctor have missed the same diagnosis? If you were hurt by a driver crashing into your vehicle, would other drivers have been able to avoid the collision?

A jury is usually the one that decides if the person responsible for your child's injury acted in a way that any other reasonable person would have acted. For example, if your child is hurt while crossing in a school zone, it would be reasonable to expect that most drivers would have stopped, thus making the dangerous driver unreasonable.

Source: FindLaw, "Standards of Care and the "Reasonable Person"," accessed April 15, 2016

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