The term, “reasonable person” is used in court when a personal injury case is being heard. That is because the courts need to determine who was acting negligent in order to determine who is at fault. This is not always easy to do and, in some cases, could cost the courts a lot of time and a lot of money.
The “Reasonable Person” Standard and “Negligence”
Injury Lawyer in Cambridge knows that negligence is normally defined as the failure to exercise a certain degree of care that a reasonable person would do under a certain situation that resulted in the accident or injury. This means that a person, as long as they are in their right mind and has the physical ability to do so, could have done something that may have prevented the injury from occurring.
What Would the Reasonable Person Do?
Next, it would need to be determine what that individual would have needed to do in order to be considered reasonable at that moment. For example, if the accident occurred while driving, you could have stopped when you were supposed to instead of texting on your phone. Maybe you could have slowed down at a pedestrian crossing even though there is no sign to tell you to do so which resulted in someone getting hit by your vehicle.
What if someone was bit by your dog? Did you have the dog on a leash or was it running where it wanted to in the park and demonstrating some aggressive behavior toward others as it ran by? Your dog needs to be on a leash when out in public and it is your responsibility to put it on the leash.
Another situation would be to shout the word, “Fire!” while standing in a crowded restaurant. If there wasn’t an actual fire, the crowd may have panicked and ran causing injuries to some that were inside. You know, as a reasonable person, that you shouldn’t shout, “Fire!” unless there is an actual fire.
The “Reasonable” Person Is Not the “Perfect” Person
A reasonable person is someone who acts in a sensible way and at the appropriate moment can make a statement, assist the injured, or help to avoid endangering lives that may be around them. In a personal injury case, it is normally the plaintiff versus the defendant and the plaintiff is trying to provide enough proof to the judge and jury that the defendant is guilty of not being a reasonable individual and that is what caused the accident or injury. It sometimes take the skills of a personal injury lawyer to make this case more effective for the plaintiff providing enough fact for a reasonable doubt in the eyes of the judge and jury.