Standard of Care
What does Standard of Care mean?
Standard of care, also known as the duty of care, is the degree of care a prudent, careful and reasonable person would have exercised in a specific situation. Everyone owes every other person a standard of care which means our actions should be reasonable and careful enough to ensure others are not injured.
For example, if you drive your car there are rules you must follow which are established by state law. These laws outline the level or standard of care you must use when you drive. You cannot speed. You must stop at stoplights. You cannot run a stop sign. If you fail to meet this standard of care your actions are considered negligent. If your negligence injures someone else you can be held liable for the cost of their injuries.
Not all individuals have the same standard of care. For example, a young child or a mentally challenged adult have a lower standard of care than a doctor. If a doctor breaches their duty or standard of care established by their profession they can be sued for medical malpractice.