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Professionals and Duty of Care

Posted on:5/23/2012
The law gives the user of a service certain legal rights. Legal rights impose duties on others and there are legal sanctions where these duties have been either negligently carried out (commission) or not carried out at all (omission).


Negligence is covered by three separate heads of claim. These are duty, breach of duty and damage. In order to acknowledge that negligence has occurred, the court will assess whether the duty owed to an individual has been breached. This is done by evaluating whether the standard of care delivered was at an appropriate professional standard. If the standard of care was not at an appropriate professional standard, the court has to decide whether this breach of duty caused the damage the individual complains of. Initially though the court has to ascertain whether a duty of care is owed in the first place.


The scope of the duty of care is limited to the foreseeable victim in as much as the duty to take care is reasonable only if the professional could have foreseen that their acts or omissions would harmed the particular individual.


Deciding whether an acceptable standard of care has been provided is determined through an analysis of the care provided and evaluating this against what should have been given at the time. For this the court will look at the legal standard such as the existing laws and precedents as well the professional standards such as professional code of conduct.

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