Standard of Care

Definition - What does Standard of Care mean?

The standard of care, in the context of U.S. tort laws, refers to the level of prudence, caution, and watchfulness that a reasonable person under duty of care must exhibit. The standard of care is used in determining the level of negligence on the part of a wrongdoer, especially in product liability and professional malpractice litigations.

Justipedia explains Standard of Care

Professionals, such as doctors, architects, and lawyers as well as product manufacturers, have a duty of care toward their clients and consumers, respectively. If a responsible individual fails to meet the standard, or if the standard of care is breached, it’s considered negligence on the individual's part, and that individual is held liable for any damages caused due to the negligence. Differences of opinion arise over the term "standard," as there is no strict definition for it. Normally, it’s left to the trier of facts to determine an appropriate standard and to judge a wrongdoer on the basis of it. In litigation involving negligence on the part of a professional, such as in a medical malpractice case, a testimony from an expert witness is used to establish the standard of care.

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