Holding Children to a Reasonable Standard – by Christopher Lebherz
When a child commits a negligent act that leads to significant injury or property damage, some may wonder if the child can be held to the same legal standard that applies to adults. When differentiating an accident from a negligent act, adults are held to a “standard of care” that is required in a given situation. That is, if a person acts in a manner other than how a “reasonable person” would act in the same situation, the individual would be held liable for any resultant injuries. However, children are not expected to act as a reasonable adult would act. Instead, a child’s actions are compared with the conduct of other children of the same age, experience, and intelligence.
In some jurisdictions, however, courts apply the adult standard of care to children who engage in certain adult activities, such as snowmobiling. If you or a loved one has been injured, it may be the result of another party’s negligence. This means someone failed to act in a reasonable manner and is therefore liable for any injuries that resulted. To schedule a free consultation, please call LEBHERZ & LEBHERZ, Attorneys at Law, at (508) 548-6600 to make an appointment. Our office is at Old Bailey Court, 99 Town Hall Square.