Legal systems: Duty of Care and Negligence

1175 WordsJun 15, 20185 Pages
Legal systems are critical to the functionality of any given society. In particular, issues of duty and responsibility are fundamental to address especially when one party causes harm or injury to another. In this respect, the concept of duty of care and its connection to negligence serve a key role in the society. Tort law provides for legal processes following acts of negligence that exhibit duty of care. The underlying liability in negligence, however, is limited because duty of care must be justified before the courts. Acts of negligence could result in many different forms of harm or injury. Under the common law, acts of negligence could result in physical injury, psychological harm or economic loss. These outcomes equate to a given…show more content…
In other words, the negligent act or conduct of the defendant must pass the test of foreseeability. Without showing that the harm was reasonably foreseeable, the underlying liability becomes critically limited. The courts’ ability to limit liability is not only rooted in reasonable foreseeability of the harm but also in the link between the harm and the defendant’s conduct. In other words, the foreseeability of the harm must be as a result of the defendant’s conduct. Liability becomes embedded in this requirement, thus limiting the adoptability of the case by the court. In the event that reasonable foreseeability lacks to connect to the conduct of the defendant, the defendant’s liability becomes limited. Foreseeable harm and the conduct of the defendant constitute the first part of the three-way system that courts use to limit liability in negligence. The second principle that courts employ relates to the defendant–claimant relationship and the proximity between the two parties at the time of the alleged negligence. Courts require that allegations of negligence be accompanied by a relational proximity. As earlier mentioned, parties to a case of negligence must have interacted in one way or another. The case law principle of proximity between parties allows courts to limit liability in negligence. Failure to evidence a relationship of proximity subject to the provisions of duty of care leaves the defendant with little or no
Open Document