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What is a duty to act?

working man cutting tree trunk with chainsaw in residential areaWhen it comes to personal injury in the Melbourne, Florida area, some people may not be clear exactly what is involved. One matter relating to personal injury is a duty to act. A duty to act is a legal concept that imposes upon a person a duty to take certain actions. This is commonly seen in products liability cases, but can be present in others, as well.

A duty to act to correct a dangerous condition

A duty to act is commonly seen in situations where a person’s dangerous actions have created a situation that can bring harm to others. For example, if someone is cutting a tree and they leave a branch that has been cut halfway through, that branch is now more likely to fall and injure someone. In this case, the person has a duty to act to correct the dangerous situation: they should either remove the branch or take precautions to ensure that nobody is hurt if it does fall.

A duty to warn others of a dangerous situation

In some cases, a duty to act means that a person needs to take steps to warn others of a situation that could cause them harm. For example, if someone spills something on the floor, he or she should warn others of the risk of slipping and falling. This duty is particularly strong if the hazard is not one that others would normally anticipate, or if the condition is hidden so that it is not readily apparent to a reasonably prudent person.
A duty to warn can be satisfied in a number of ways, such as posting warning signs, conveying verbal warnings, or restricting access to the hazard and explaining one’s reason for doing so. While a duty to warn should usually be coupled with actions to address the hazard, this is not always possible, and the two duties are separate and distinct from one another.

Have you been harmed because someone failed to satisfy their duty to act?

If you are in the Melbourne, Florida, area, we are here to help you. If someone had a duty to act and they failed to satisfy that act, you might have a cause of action against them. You may be able to recover for your injuries, and you may even be able to recover for other harms such as lost wages, incidental expenses, and pain and suffering.