Chapter 6 Key facts checklists

Breach of duty: the standard of care

●    Standard of care is the second and the most fact-specific, evidence-based element in the ‘negligence equation’ (see Figure 6.1).

●    To establish that the duty of care has been breached, first the standard of care must be found and then it must be decided if that standard was reached in the circumstances.

●    The general standard of care is objective: the ‘reasonable person’ standard.

●    There are exceptions to the objective standard: when the defendant is a child or exercising a special skill.

●    The standard must be considered in ‘all the circumstances of the case’.

●    The circumstances often involve a balancing of risks and costs.

●    Proof of breach must be established by the claimant on the balance of probabilities.

●    Res ipsa loquitur may assist the claimant in proof of breach.