The "reasonable person" standard is a legal concept in personal injury law that is used when Courts or juries consider whether to hold a person accountable for injuring another person or for damaging the other person's property.
Sometimes accidents happen. In many instances, injury is not intentional. The question arises-how do Courts and juries decide whether the individual who harmed another person is liable? Should they pay for damages?
Whether the individual, who caused harm, acted as a "reasonable person" is a factor that courts and juries consider in personal injury cases. In other words, did the defendant act as a "reasonable person", or, were they negligent or acting with reckless disregard? Could they have prevented the accident, but instead failed to act within the time a reasonable person would have acted?
A reasonable person is the legal standard that a jury or judge must evaluate in a case. They must determine whether the person acted as a reasonable person in connection with the accident.
When making their decision, consideration is given to the nature of the person involved. For example, a child is held to the standard of how other children of the same age would respond, not to adult standards. Or, for example, a blind person is held to the standard of how other blind people would respond, not to the standard of someone with sight.
What if a driver is supposed to wear glasses, but forgets to wear them, and their poor eyesight causes them to hit a pedestrian? The court or jury would find the driver negligent, as the right to drive depended on wearing glasses, and the failure to do so would be a legal violation.
Likewise, when drivers violate traffic laws and cause accidents, they are not acting as a reasonable person. Legal violations are not reasonable.
When someone else's negligence seriously harms you, you should seek legal help. A lawsuit can help you recover compensation for damages. To arrange a free consultation, contact Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP. Call us 516-248-2234 and 718-539-3100, or reach out to us through our contact form.