How Ottawa Law Firms Resolve Negligence Cases

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In Civil Disputes Involving Tort Claims

Consider the following example. A young professional tennis instructor comes home from work after a long and exhausting day. She has worked well over nine hours and is looking forward to some much needed rest. She drives up and parks in her driveway, where her landlord has been making some minor renovations to the property.

As she makes her way to the main entrance of her building; her mind is half-asleep. All of a sudden, she screams in pain. Looking at her sandal on her left foot, she sees blood-and a stray nail piercing right through her skin.

Situations like these occur every day in Canada, and law firms have fought hundreds of cases in which a defendant must sue an opposing party (or multiple parties) over what is referred to in Canadian tort law as negligence.

As opposed to criminal law, in which the government is the prosecutor, tort law deals in disputes between two civil parties. In a negligence case, a judge must determine whether the defendant owed a duty of care and performed it to a reasonable standard, or whether they are guilty of mere negligence, gross negligence, or even willful misconduct.

By not cleaning the parking lot that day, did the landlord neglect to perform their duty of care? Should the victim have worn sandals knowing the area was under renovation? Would a reasonable person have seen the danger ahead of time?

As you can see, without the help of a legal counsel, determining what constitutes a reasonable level of care can be difficult for even the most confident claimant. But an objective standard for what a reasonable person would do in certain situations has been established by the Court over the years, and support from a local law firm is the best way to ensure that you illustrate how the defendant failed to meet that standard.

Many factors are involved in determining whether a defendant acted as a reasonable person could be expected to act. While the Court will take into consideration the likelihood of harm, as well as its severity, it may also make allowances for inevitable errors of judgment, on the part of the plaintiff or the defendant.

It is important to note that the standard of "reasonable person" does not apply to highly trained professionals such as accountants or doctors in the practice of their profession. These cases are judged according to a much different standard, but one which your legal counsel can assist you with as well.

Hiring a lawyer to represent you in cases of negligence is essential in reaching a favourable resolution. Don't be a voiceless victim; get the legal support and representation you deserve today.

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