The Definition of Negligence

 

The concept of “negligence” has changed over the years.  In the past, to be found negligent and therefore liable to pay damages, it was necessary to do something fairly stupid or at least very careless.  Now it seems that just making an error is classed as negligent, even if it is an error of judgement which many people might make.

 

I would like to see negligence re-defined, so that only major mistakes are penalised.

 


Why is this idea important?

The current situation has various bad effects – for example:

         It causes much unnecessary litigation, with associated costs and stress.

         It prevents many people from taking action which might be useful, out of fear – eg assisting with injuries after a road accident.

         It is making it difficult to find volunteers to work with young people, especially out of doors – eg scouts and disadvantaged teenagers.

         It is putting professionals such as doctors and teachers under unnecessary stress.

We need to learn to take responsibility for our own actions, rather than always blaming someone else.

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