What Is Higher Duty of Care?

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A higher duty of care is a legal concept entailing the obligations of one party toward another. It can be encountered in tort law, where a breach of duty is the first condition of a successful negligence prosecution.

Institutions and individuals can be regarded as having a duty of care toward others under certain conditions. A bus driver, for example, is expected to act in a way that is consistent with the safety of the passengers and other motorists. Some people, however, are regarded as having a higher duty, such as a professional code of conduct, that places them under a heightened scrutiny if harm results from their actions. Doctors, for example, are generally held to a higher standard of care than members of the general public.