The responsibility to act in a manner that does not cause harm to another is called duty of care.
If harm does occur and could have been reasonably anticipated, then negligence may have occurred.
The individual or company that did not act responsibly is said to have failed to live up to the required standard of care.
The person or persons claiming to have suffered the consequences of negligent actions and who seeks redress from the individual or company through a tort action is called the plaintiff.
The responding individual or company is called the defendant.
To succeed in a tort action through the courts, the plaintiff needs to establish the following:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care through his or her conduct
- The defendant's conduct or action caused injury to the plaintiff
It is worth noting that negligence is unintentional and that most tort actions under negligence happen because the defendant never truly thought through the issue and the potential consequences of their actions. The law holds that individuals or firms should consider the consequences of their actions and therefore assumes that they do.