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Definition of Duty

Duty is the first standard which must be proven in a personal injury claim. Duty is the assumption a person has a "duty of care" not to cause an individual harm. Duty applies to any person. For instance, if an average person under the same conditions can see an act or an omission of action could injure another person they can be liable if they fail to perform their duty or attempt to avoid it.

For instance, if a driver is operating an automobile they have a duty to follow the laws and statutes of the state. If a driver is speeding and runs a red light they have breached their duty. If their negligence causes injury the injured party may have the legal right to file a personal injury claim against them.

Other professionals also have a professional duty of care. For example, a doctor owes their patients a "duty" to provide medical care comparable to what other doctors would provide if to their patients. Doctors who fail in their duty may be sued for medical malpractice if their negligence causes injury or loss. Consider, however, a breach of duty is just the first requirement in an injury case. Plaintiffs must also prove the breach was the proximate cause of the injury and the breach must cause injury or loss. If there is no loss, there is no injury claim.

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