Table of Contents
Tort law is considered to be a set of law that provides the necessary remedies to people who suffered harm as a result of the unreasonable act of another person. Tort law is based on the fact that individuals are liable for the effects of their actions, whether accidental or intentional, as long as they cause harm to another entity or person. Torts are considered to be civil wrongs that often form the foundation of civil lawsuits. A better understanding of the law is based on a personal experience where a friend gave me a legal advice that is not accurate.
Facts of the Case
In this case, Mary and her daughter were at the park but Mary was distracted and her daughter wandered off. As I was walking, I saw the daughter wondering over towards the road where a car was approaching slowly while maintaining the expected speed limit. Noticing the possibility of an accident, I rushed to save the daughter from being hit by the car that was driving quite safely. In the process, I managed to save the child but, was hit by the vehicle. When I asked my friend about the actions that I can take, the advice was that I should sue the driver. Further analysis of the case indicates that the information provided was not accurate.
The issue, in this case, is if the driver is liable under the tort law for hitting me with his vehicle as I was saving the girl.
Under the tort law, the motorist owes the pedestrian the duty of care and any breach of duty will make him liable for damages (Madden, 2005). In additions, parents have a duty of care in terms of supervising their children to avoid any harm to them or any other person. Further analysis indicates that children are often judged under this law on the basis of the standard of the reason of a child who is of the same age (Horsey, 2017).
Based on the rule under the law of tort, it is evident that the control of a motor-vehicle creates a duty of care that is owed to persons who might, rationally foreseeable, be harmed as a result of the negligence exercise of the control. Therefore the diver, as a motorist, owed me, as the pedestrian, a duty of care. To determine if there is a breach of duty in this case that would make the driver liable, it is vital to understand that the standard of care that is expected by law is that of the experienced and competent driver. In this case, it is vital to determine if the driver exercised reasonable care through the means of meeting the standard of an experienced and competent driver through assessing the balance of probabilities. In this case, the driver was driving quite safely and within the speed limit which is in line with the expectations of the experienced and competent driver. In addition, my sudden action is likely to have caused the collision with the vehicle. It means the driver had met the standards that are expected from an experienced and competent driver, and thus was exercising reasonable care that is expected by the law. Therefore, the driver did not breach the duty of care that is expected by law towards me.
Further analysis of this case indicates that children are often judged on the basis of the standard of a reasonable child who is of the same age. As a small child, the girl has not breached any duties because children often do not act reasonably and that is why they need the help of adults (Morissette, 2009). It means that there are no claims that can be made against her. On the other hand, it is not the case for Mary. Adults who have the responsibility of supervising children often owe the duty of care to exercise reasonable control and supervision over the children (Steele, 2017). The standard of care is mainly high in cases that involve young children who are near roads because there is a more foreseeable risk of damages and harm. There is a high likelihood that Mary has breached her duty of care by being distracted and allowing her daughter to wander off. In this case, a duty and breach are established, as well as damages because of the fact that I suffered physical harm. If Mary had provided adequate supervision to her daughter, she would not have wandered off, and I would not have chased after her which then means that I would not have been injured. It means that the damage is reasonably foreseeable and thus Mary is liable for negligence. The defense of volenti non fit injuria that states that I voluntarily took the risk of getting hurt would not work in this case because the action that I took is reasonable because it involved rescuing a child from danger, which mitigated the level of harm on the child.
The mother is also liable to the driver of the vehicle for any damages on the car for negligence as she breached her duty to care in terms of not supervising her daughter as expected by the law. It is more probable that she is liable because it is reasonably foreseeable that the child would be in danger is she wandered off towards the road (Hodgson, 2007). My decision to rescue the child did not break the chain of causation and even helped in mitigating the damages.
From the analysis of the case, it is evident that I was given the wrong information that stated that I should sue the driver as he drove quit safely and under the expected speed limit. However, I should sue the mother for breach of her duty of care as he had the responsibility of supervising the child. She breached her duty of care by being distracted and allowing her daughter to wander off. In this case, a duty and breach are established, as well as damages because of the fact that I suffered physical harm. If Mary had provided adequate supervision to her daughter, she would not have wandered off, and I would not have chased after her which then means that I would not have been injured. It means that the damage is reasonably foreseeable and thus Mary is liable for negligence. The defense of volenti non fit injuria would not work in this case because the action that I took is reasonable because it involved rescuing a child from danger, which mitigated the level of harm on the child.
- Hodgson, J. S., Hodgson-Lewthwaite, ., & Lewthwaite, J. (2007). Tort law textbook. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
- Horsey, K., & Rackley, E. (2017). Tort law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Madden, M. S. (2005). Exploring tort law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Morissette, E. L. (2009). Personal injury and the law of torts for paralegals. New York: Aspen Publishers.
- Steele, J. (2017). Tort law: Text, cases, and materials. Oxford: Oxford University Press.