Introduction to Negligence

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  1. Discuss what is meant by a ‘duty of care’ in the tort of negligence.
  2. Explain the test which is applied in the tort of negligence to determine whether the defendant breached the legal duty of care owed to the claimant.
  3. What factors would a court take into account when determining how a reasonable person would act?

Duty of care Test applied for determining Factors court would take into account to determine how a reasonable person would act Tort law Tort in general are a set of rights, obligation that are provided to the citizen by a civil court in order to maintain safety of people and provide remedies for persons who have been inflicted suffering/losses by the wrongdoings of other citizens. (https://legaldictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Tort+Law) A tort is a wrongdoing by a citizen towards another for which he/she is tried in the court of law. The plaintiff is the person against whom the wrong has been committed and who has suffered losses.

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Whereas, the person because of whom the damages/losses have occurred to the plaintiff is known as the defendant. The law of tort is obtained from common law principles that have come from case laws and legislative enactment. Torts are not dependent on any sort of agreement between the two parties involved and this is how tort law is distinguishable from breach of contract or any other type of law. Moreover, it is the citizen who brings the tort case even though criminal prosecutions are applied by the state. Defendants, in case of tort law, do not receive fines and neither do civil courts incarcerate them. (https://www.findlaw.co.uk/law/government/constitutional_law/500400.html) The word tort is derived from a latin word ‘torquere’, meaning incorrect or twisted. There was no separate legal action under the English common law. In place of tort the English law system provided plaintiffs with two options of reparation: trespass for direct injuries and for indirect injury, action on the case. In time, other civil wrongdoings were also recognized by the English common law, for ex Defamation, libel, slander. English common law became popular in America and they started adopting it. The first U.S. treatises that were published had a portion of common law which was created under the tort law. Every tort action requires some criteria to be fulfilled. First, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a particular manner. Second, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached this duty by acting in a wrong way. Third, the plaintiff must be able to prove that he suffered losses, damage and injury because of the defendant not being able to follow his legal duty. (https://legaldictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Tort+Law) The law of tort aims to serve the following objectives. First, tort law aims at providing compensation to the plaintiff for injury/losses suffered due to the misdoings of the defendant.

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