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Duty to Act

Personal Injury

In a previous blog post, we discussed the definition of negligence.  More often than not, negligence arises when a party acts without reasonable care.  Negligence can also be demonstrated, however, by a party’s failure to act.

What is Duty to Act

Under certain conditions, a party can be held liable for injuries sustained by the fact that he or she should have taken action, but didn’t.  New Yorkers are not generally under an obligation to act, but there are times when there is a duty to act.

If the Person Creates the Problem

If you are in a situation where an action that you took caused or created a dangerous condition and someone was injured, you can be held liable for that person’s injuries.

You have Voluntarily offered to protect a person from harm

A person who has taken on the responsibility of protecting a person from harm – whether it is a child he or she is watching, or an elderly loved one – has a duty to use reasonable care to protect that person.  The failure to use reasonable care, under those circumstances, can be considered negligence and can subject that person to liability.

Knowing that what you are doing is dangerous

If a person is creating a risk-laden or hazardous condition, they have a responsibility to know that people can suffer injuries as a result.  The excuse of not knowing they created a risk-laden situation is not acceptable. A person, in the exercise of reasonable care, should know that a dangerous or defective condition can lead to injury.

If you are a business owner

If you are a business owner and you have a place open to the public,   you have a responsibility to your guests to maintain a safe environment that is free from defects.  The failure to keep one’s place of business in a reasonably safe condition is negligence and can subject the business owner to liability.

In any negligence case, the attorney must prove that the defendant failed to use reasonable care, and that said failure was a proximate cause of the injuries suffered by the client.  Whether the negligence in any particular case is an act that was committed without using reasonable care (such as a motorist’s failure to stop at a stop sign) or the failure to act when such action is necessary (such as the failure to repair a defective or dangerous step on a staircase), it is up to the handling attorney to prove that the act or inaction on the part of the defendant constitutes negligence and show that the negligence claimed was a cause of the injury.

If you have been injured due to the fault of another, call The Law Offices of Marc Albert for a free consultation. We can be reached at 855-252-3788. Marc Albert has offices in Astoria, Queens and in Syosset on Long Island.