Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses the “Reasonable Person”
In law school we talked a great deal about the mythical reasonable person. A reasonable person is easy to identify in some situations such as, a reasonable person will always stop at a stop sign. A reasonable person will always follow warnings on products. But it is not always easy to know what the reasonable person will do. If a person reads a warning on a product, but does not understand it, are they being reasonable if they use the product? If a person is attempting to pull out of a parking lot, but cannot see and another driver waives them out is the first driver being reasonable if they pull out and then is hit by a car they did not see? Why is reasonable person worth discussing. The reasonable person is worth discussing because as we go through life, in this social world of ours we try to behave in such a way that we allow everyone to live their life the way they wish to, including ourselves. When we fail to act reasonably, such as driving while drunk, causing a drunk driving highway accident, or we do not follow OSHA rules and regulations at a construction site and a construction accident happens. When accidents happen people suffer serious injury such as amputations, paralysis, broken bones, brain injury and even wrongful death.
When injuries do happen, and a person is forced to sue (usually because the insurance company for the person who failed to acted reasonably and the injured person cannot agree on what is fair compensation), the law tries to look back and see if the person who caused the injury acted reasonably. If you are ever selected to serve as a juror in a case involving personal injury, you will hear a lot about the reasonable person. You will be instructed by the Court that id the person who is charged with causing the injury failed to act like a reasonable person, then that person will be responsible to fairly compensate the injured person for all their injuries. (Remember, this compensation will be paid by the person’s insurance company and the person will not have to pay anything out of their pocket).
In conclusion, as you interact with everyone else, the law requires that you act as a reasonable person would act so as to not cause injury to another.