Reasonable Care Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Reasonable Care, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Reasonable Care?

(n) Reasonable care is defined as the care, concern, caution or action an average prudent person is expected to take in such circumstances. Though it is a subjective qualification it can be assessed by the action a man would have taken had he been subjected to such a situation.

History and Meaning of Reasonable Care

Reasonable care is a legal term that originated in English law, and it refers to the level of precaution or care that a rational and prudent person would observe in a given circumstance. It is used in various legal cases to determine whether a person has acted negligently and caused harm to another person. The concept of reasonable care was first articulated in the nineteenth century when English law started to shift away from strict liability towards a more fault-based approach.

The modern definition of reasonable care can be traced back to the landmark case of Vaughan v. Menlove (1837), wherein the court held that a person must act with such care as a prudent and reasonable man would take in certain situations. This standard of care is subjective and varies depending on the nature of the situation and the parties involved. To determine if an individual has exercised reasonable care, a court must consider all the facts of the case and assess what a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances.

Examples of Reasonable Care

  1. A driver must exercise reasonable care while driving to avoid harming pedestrians or other vehicles on the road.
  2. A doctor must provide reasonable care in treating his patients to avoid medical malpractice.
  3. A company must take reasonable care of its employees to ensure a safe work environment and prevent accidents.
  4. A landlord must exercise reasonable care in maintaining rental property to prevent injuries to tenants.
  5. A manufacturer must exercise reasonable care in designing, testing, and labeling their products to ensure they are safe for consumers.

Legal Terms Similar to Reasonable Care

  • Negligence: The failure to exercise reasonable care that results in harm to another person or property.
  • Duty of care: The legal obligation to exercise reasonable care towards others.
  • Standard of care: The level of care that a reasonable and prudent person would exercise in a given situation.