Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Standard of Care
Negligence is culpable carelessness.
That means the absence of such care as it was the duty of the defendant to use. It does not necessarily consist in thoughtlessness or inadvertence. A is guilty of negligence, if he drives furiously into a crowd. A may know that he is exposing others to risk. Negligence is failure to use sufficient care. Carelessness may exist to any degree. The degree depends on the risk to which others are exposed. The risk depends on:
1. The magnitude of the threatened evil and
2. The probability of it.
What is the yard stick of care required by Law ?
The answer is mat the "Standard of care" of which nature is capable. 'A' is not liable for the harm ignorantly done by him. This harm he could have avoided with fore-thought. A is liable if he knowingly fails to take steps to stop the harm. The facts which help to find out the standard required are:
1. The magnitude of the risk.
2. The dangerous form of the activity.
By driving the train at 50 miles per hour, a railway company may cause a fatal accident. But, if the speed is 10 miles per hour perhaps no accident happens. But his saving is done by causing great inconvenience. Hence, the company is not liable. In professions, want of skill or competence amounts to negligence. The person is expected to use such skill & knowledge, as is necessary for reasonable efficiency. If he is below this, he is negligent and hence liable. An ignorant physician who kills his patient is liable not because he is ignorant, but because being unskillful he ventures to do an act which calls for qualities which he does not possess.