NEGLIGENCE IN TORT LAW

In simpler language, the word ‘negligence’, could mean that when a reasonable man or a person, had a duty of care owed, and they un-intentionally failed the perform the promise which they owed to the plaintiff, and due to such a breach the plaintiff had suffered a damage. Although it is pertinent to note over here, that damage in this context sums up to legal damage, that could be pecuniary damage, infringement of any human or fundamental rights etc. 

Negligence in apex court, in the case of Jacob Mathew v. state of Punjab observed:

“Negligence is the breach of duty caused by the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do, or doing something that a reasonable man or the prudent man would not do”

Actionable negligence consists in the neglect of the use of ordinary care or skill towards of a person to whom the defendant owes the duty of care, by which neglect the plaintiff has suffered injury to himself or his property.

Hence to constitute a negligence we can say, we need three things:

  1. Defendant owed a duty of care
  2. Breach of that said duty.
  3. Plaintiff has suffered an injury.

The duty of care states, that the defendant should owe some kind of moral or legal duty towards the plaintiff. And if there are any reasonable chances for foreseeable injury, he should do everything he can to prevent it from happening.

Although, the duty of care varies from situation to situation

Magnitude of risk: magnitude of a risk is an important factor, as not every situation will require a standard form of care, magnitude of risk varies from situation to situation. If the foreseeable injury is high, then the precaution taken should be in a greater form. Whereas, where the foreseeable injury is not that high and the possibility is remote almost not possible then the precaution taken should be in that form.

One of the most significant fact to mention in this concept of negligence regarding the breach of duty, is foreseeability. The breach of duty states, that the defendant should perform all his duties and obligation, failing to do so, would result into breach of duty. Breach of duty also depends upon the foreseeability. if the injury, due to negligence is foreseeable, then person should do anything in his power to prevent it. But if the injury is remote and far too impossible to happen, then it would not constitute as negligence.

The damages suffered states, that due to the negligence of the defendant, the plaintiff as suffered a significant damage, the damage inculcated by the plaintiff, could either he physical, legal or pecuniary. But they must be legal damage and should be a direct consequence of the negligence.

Although to make any person liable under the law of tort, remoteness of damage is always measured up. Remoteness of damage, helps to determine the liability of the defendants.

Remoteness of damages means “if the act committed id too remotes and could not be foreseeable, then the defendant won’t be liable. But on the hand. The act committed is proximate and the injury is foreseeable, he will be held liable”

To safely conclude, negligence is one of the important ambits of tort law, to constitute someone liable for negligence it is important that they must have a duty of acre towards the plaintiff, the said duty must have been breached by them, and thus due to the consequence of breach of duty if acre, the plaintiff suffered a damage. Although, the remoteness of liability always plays an important role while computing the defendant as ‘negligent’.

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