Personal injury lawyers hear the term ‘reasonable person’ all of the time. They know that this is a person whose thought patterns and actions are used to determine negligence in personal injury cases. You may have wondered who this ‘person’ is. Well, this article provides insights into this.
If you have ever consulted with a personal injury lawyer in Waterloo after having been involved in a personal injury accident, you have heard him, or she refer to the concept of the ‘reasonable person!’ Since you are likely no expert on personal injury law, you may have honestly wondered who this ‘person’ really is. Well, while this is a fictitious character, his or her actions and thought processes/patterns are based on those of real people. That is the reason why they (actions and thought patterns/processes) are used as the basis for determining if a party is indeed guilty of negligence in personal injury cases. When a person acts negligently, he or she either does something or fails to do something that a ‘reasonable person’ either would or would not have done in the same situation.
Negligence further defined by the ‘reasonable person’
If you ask your personal injury lawyer about this concept, he or she will tell you that a person acts negligently when he or she fails to act in the same way that a ‘reasonable person’ would have in the same situation. The ‘reasonable person’ is really a profile of the average logical minded and normal person in society. He or she uses a reasonable amount of judgment to act in a particular logical and appropriate way in certain situations. These are explained in more detail below.
What a ‘reasonable person’ would do
Personal injury law states that a reasonable person would act in a particular way in certain common life situations. You can discuss this in more detail with your personal injury lawyer in Waterloo.
Sopping at a stop sign – Most drivers know that they must stop at stop signs. It’s the law. A ‘reasonable person’ would always obey the law by stopping at a stop sign. This is an example of defensive driving and has prevented many unnecessary accidents from occurring. On that note, a ‘reasonable person’ would also slow his or her speed when approaching an unmarked intersection. This is safe and defensive driving because it allows him or her to have enough time to react to unforeseen phenomena like a pedestrian suddenly walking out onto the street.
Restraining pets – a ‘reasonable person’ knows that while rare, attacks and bites from domesticated dogs have been known to happen. This person would restrain his or her dog by keeping him or her (the dog) on a leash at all times when in public. This is responsible behavior because it minimizes the chances of an unnecessary attack on others from occurring.
Not shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater – a ‘reasonable person’ would not do this unless a fire really did break out in the theater. This action indicates that peoples’ lives would be in immediate danger. It would cause most people to panic and attempt to find the exit to save their lives.
Regularly inspect the property – a ‘reasonable person’ would regularly inspect his or her property to ensure that it was in mint condition and conformed to the latest in building standards and codes. Not doing so would present a hazard to guests and others. They could get seriously hurt on the badly maintained property. A ‘reasonable person’ would understand this and would take all reasonable and necessary precautions to safeguard his or her property.
Reasonable people are not perfect
Well, your personal injury lawyer would tell you that ‘no one is perfect.’ A ‘reasonable person’ is just expected to act and think in the ways that a normal and logical minded person would. He or she is not expected to be some perfect ‘demi-god’. You’ll still need to hire a lawyer to represent you in your personal injury claim or case because personal injury law is complex.