Reasonable Person

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Reasonable Person

A phrase frequently used in tort and Criminal Law to denote a hypothetical person in society who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct and who serves as a comparative standard for determining liability.

The decision whether an accused is guilty of a given offense might involve the application of an objective test in which the conduct of the accused is compared to that of a reasonable person under similar circumstances. In most cases, persons with greater than average skills, or with special duties to society, are held to a higher standard of care. For example, a physician who aids a person in distress is held to a higher standard of care than is an ordinary person.



West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, the high court said the jury's application of the reasonable person standard helped the doctor.
This article considers when it is necessary and, if so, appropriate, to modify the legal standard of care by imbuing the reasonable person with certain personal characteristics (whether that standard is applied to plaintiffs or defendants), and rejects the view that the reasonable person standard should always be applied equivalently (or uniformly) to defendants and plaintiffs.
Where the harm has occurred unintentionally or due to carelessness, the court will apply the reasonable person standard.
The reasonable person standard finds its roots in a time when mental disability was described by terms such as "distracted" or "lunatick," (3) over two hundred years before Thomas Jefferson acknowledged the need for legal progress.
deviating from a reasonable person standard, and then essentially
No provision of SYG laws gives a person a "license to kill" or absolves them from the requirement that their actions meet what is known as the "reasonable person standard." The question for jurors is, would a reasonable person in this situation react as the person in question did.
In many states, the requirements went from a professional standard (What information did other physicians customarily disclose?) to a reasonable person standard (What information would a reasonable patient want to know?).
Giles, On Determining Negligence: Hand Formula Balancing, the Reasonable Person Standard, and the Jury, 54 VAND.