Breach of Duty and What this Legal Term Means in Court Cases

By Shannon Gurnee
In Lifestyle
February 2, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about breach of duty and what it means in court cases.

breach of duty court case gavel judge

If you face a court case, you might encounter terminology you don’t understand. If that happens, you should learn what these terms mean. If you don’t, you might feel lost as the defendant or plaintiff.

Breach of duty is one of those terms. We’ll talk about it now and discuss how it impacts some court cases.

What is Breach of Duty?

Breach of duty changes many court case outcomes. It means someone owes someone else a consideration, and they don’t follow through on it.

For instance, you might have a situation where a doctor owes someone care when the patient comes to see them, and the doctor doesn’t provide it. That’s potentially breach of duty.

This term becomes crucial in negligence cases. If someone owes a care standard that society or their profession expects, they must act to help the other person. If they don’t, a court might say that’s negligence. The person who didn’t act correctly might owe the plaintiff money.

What Are Some Other Examples?

Negligence cases where one person doesn’t act appropriately and harms another individual are quite common. Someone who drinks and then drives has a care duty regarding other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc. By drinking and driving, they violate that care duty, and a court can hold them liable.

Someone who speeds also violates a driving duty. They might hit someone in a crosswalk or jump a curb and strike a pedestrian walking along the sidewalk.

In these instances, the care duty violation becomes clear. Many times, if you violate a societal convention, law, or common practice and hurt someone, you violate your care duty and commit a breach.

How Can You Prove Breach of Duty?

Proving breach of duty matters in civil trials and sometimes criminal ones as well. In civil trials, if you’re the plaintiff, you allege that the defendant harmed you through their action or inaction. They may feel differently, though.

You must hire an experienced lawyer who knows about these matters. They can represent you in court as you plead your case before a judge and jury. You must present evidence showing the defendant breached their duty to you.

Let’s use the scenario where someone drove too fast and hit you in a crosswalk. You may submit a police report as physical evidence in that case. The police report might say the person who hit you drove over the speed limit.

The police can establish this by looking at the tire marks on the street. They may also use store camera footage or traffic camera footage. You might have a car crash recreation expert describe the crash scene and show that the driver drove over the speed limit.

What Happens When You Prove Breach of Duty?

The more physical evidence, eyewitness testimonies, and expert witness testimony you introduce, the more likely you’ll win your case. The defendant’s lawyer can cross-examine the witnesses or refute the physical evidence. The more you have, though, the more probable a jury will side with you.

Once you prove someone committed breach of duty and harmed you, either through action or inaction, the jury should deliberate and return with a verdict. If they feel you’re right and this person or entity harmed you, you should see some money as a result.

Monetary damages usually result when civil cases conclude. This person might also face criminal charges, but you shouldn’t worry about that. The criminal court system deals with criminality. If the prosecutor wants to seek jail time for this person because of their actions, they can do that.

Monetary Damages

You can use the monetary damages you receive and get your life back on track. You must first pay the attorney out of your winnings. They will take a significant percentage because they helped win your case. Without an attorney, you might not get anything at all.

The monetary damages can pay your medical bills, grocery bills, and other crucial expenses as you pick up the pieces. Sometimes, when someone commits breach of duty, they act so egregiously that they change your life forever.

Hopefully, you can recover in time and get past this whole experience. As for the person who committed breach of duty, they might lose their job, face jail time, or not enjoy the same reputation they once did.

That’s unfortunate, but this person made a choice, and now they must pay for it. Next time, they might make better choices.

About Has 2148 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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