Breach of Duty — determining negligence and fault


“Breach of Duty” is a legal term often used in injury law. It means that someone has a responsibility to another person, but didn’t fulfill that duty. The defendant may have had a duty of reasonable care, premises liability, professional liability, or another relationship with the injured party.

For instance, a company has a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for its employees. If the company does not take reasonable measures to keep the workplace safe, it has failed (“breached”) in its duty to its employees, and may be liable for negligence.

Different kinds of Breach of Duty

There are several types of duty. For instance, when a company makes something, that product should do what it’s supposed to do, and not harm the people who use it. If someone is harmed, the company may be guilty of negligence.

The courts ask questions like:

  • Did the company fail to use reasonable are?
  • Was the building or machinery not kept in good repair?
  • Did the company hire unqualified people to perform certain services?
  • Were workers or maintenance crews properly trained?
  • Was a product defective?
  • Did poor workmanship cause the accident?

If you or a loved one has been injured, a skilled and experienced attorney will investigate things like:

  • Did the company have a duty to the injured person?
  • Did the company fail in that duty?
  • Did that failure cause the accident?
  • Did the accident result in damages? (For example, loss of income, pain and suffering, or medical expenses.)

When looking at questions of Breach of Duty, courts use several standards:

  • Were there alternatives that might have prevented the accident?
  • Would an average person think the defendant used reasonable care?
  • Were safer alternatives much more difficult or expensive to use?

All of these questions are considered to decide if there was Breach of Duty.

Abnormally Dangerous Activity

In some cases, strict liability or negligence is applied. That means that under state and federal law, the entity in charge of the action is automatically liable. This happens in jobs that involve what the courts have called “abnormally dangerous activity,” like making explosives or working with dangerous chemicals.

Six factors are involved in deciding if something is abnormally dangerous activity:

  • If the activity carries a high degree of risk or harm.
  • The gravity of the risk.
  • If the risk can be eliminated through reasonable care.
  • If the activity is common.
  • If the activity is appropriate to where it is performed, and
  • The value of the activity.

Example of Breach of Duty

One of our legal firm’s cases was about an apartment fire that claimed two lives and injured others. The owner of the building had not kept the smoke alarms in good repair. When the fire started, the residents had no way of knowing what was happening. The owner breached his duty, did not use reasonable care, and caused serious harm that deserved compensation.

You Need an Expert

You need an attorney with experience and expertise in explosion and burn cases to accurately determine breach of duty in these cases. Our lawyers have years of experience, and have won millions for our clients. We will investigate the accident, depose company officials, workers and manufacturers, and dig through files and records to make sure your case is fairly settled or litigated.

If you have been injured, nothing can make the incident disappear. But you deserve answers and justice. You deserve to be compensated so that you can begin to put your life back together.

Call us at 1-888-377-8900 or click below for a free, no obligation consultation…