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What is a 'reasonable person' in a Florida car accident?

Ocala residents know that driving can end up being a dangerous activity. It can also be a rewarding one, and is, for many people, an absolutely necessary one. Most areas in Florida require adults to be able to drive to work, to commercial areas, and other places they need to go to go about their daily lives. Unfortunately, when someone is injured in a car wreck, it can make it difficult or impossible to go about these tasks of daily living, at least for some period of time. Because of this, some car accident victims may be entitled to compensation from another person who caused such an accident.

This blog has previously discussed the concept of negligence and the elements, or parts, that go into crafting an acceptable case to prove that someone else was at fault for causing the injuries suffered. One of the main elements of such cases is the concept of a breach of duty. We have touched on this element in the past, but there is an important component of it, and negligence in general, that deserves some more attention. This is the idea of the "reasonable person."

The reasonable person is a legal construct; a fictional individual who acts completely rationally in any given situation, considering the information and experience he has. This is the standard by which a jury or judge will determine whether an actual, real-world person acted in a manner that was negligent. Basically, in most car accident cases, before getting into causation or some of those other elements, there will be a question of whether the actions taken (or not taken) by the defendant were 'negligent' in the sense that they breached a duty to the injured person. To determine this, the trier of fact will decide whether the defendant acted as a reasonable person would have in the same situation.

For instance, a 'reasonable person' may slow down when he notices that children are playing in or near the road, or that a disabled vehicle is on the shoulder. If the person involved in the accident did not do this, the jury or judge may figure that the individual was negligent for not exercising due care. While this may seem simple, many cases are much more complicated, and those injured in car accidents, whether by drunk drivers or others acting in a negligent manner may wish to consider contacting an experienced Ocala attorney.

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