The Legal Concept of Recklessness

When a person’s actions or behavior show a complete disregard for the health, safety, and well-being of other individuals, and they know their actions could cause them harm, he or she may be liable for their injuries. There are 4 theories of liability which can render the defendant (or at-fault party) liable for the injuries they’ve caused including:

• Intent – means the individual acted with the intent of causing harm
• Negligence – means that an individual violated a duty of care to someone else and the breach of that duty caused harm to the other person
• Strict liability – is reserved for specific cases when an individual can be held liable for the harm they’ve caused someone else regardless of their mental state
• Recklessness – means the individual knew, should’ve known, or was aware that their actions could cause harm to another person

Recklessness typically involves behavior or conduct is greater than simple negligence but less than the intent to cause harm. Negligence occurs when a person unknowingly takes a risk but should’ve been aware of it. Conversely, recklessness means they knowingly took that risk.

What does the Concept of Recklessness comprise?

Recklessness is determined both objectively and subjectively. There are two forms of reckless behavior. The subjective test examines what the individual knew or was thinking when the act occurred. The objective test considers what a reasonable person would be thinking were they in the defendant’s position. In either situation, the issue is based on conscious awareness. In other words, did the person know or should they have known that their actions or behavior could cause harm to another individual?

Examples of risky or reckless behavior include:

• carrying a concealed weapon
• drag racing through a residential neighborhood
• drinking while driving
• engaging in unprotected sex when you know you have AIDS/HIV or and STD
• storing a handgun in an unlocked container or unprotected area of a home where children are present
• substance abuse in a nightclub or in public

The 4 key Elements of Recklessness

Generally speaking, an individual’s behavior or conduct are deemed reckless if:

• The individual is aware of or has reasons to believe that others who are present could suffer harm or injury.
• The risk is substantially greater than negligence
• The risk is unreasonable
• The individual intends to commit the action in question while knowing it could create a risk of harm to others

Most states allow people to sue for personal injury and recover compensation in the process. If you have specific questions, regarding recklessness, speak with an injury attorney in Bedford as soon as possible.You can call on Brill Law to know more about the legal aspects of the specific case. Call now!

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