Breach of Duty

Steering the complexities of personal injury law can often feel overwhelming. It can be tough to grapple with unfamiliar terms like “breach of duty.” This seemingly straightforward concept forms the backbone of many legal disputes.

At Matos Personal Injury Lawyers in Lakewood, CO, we understand the importance of breaking these legal terms into understandable language. Here, we break down breach of duty. This article will provide clarity and insight into the implications of breach of duty in personal injury cases. 

Whether you’re a victim seeking understanding or just curious about the legal process, this guide will offer a comprehensive overview of what breach of duty means and how it’s applied in legal contexts.

Defining Breach of Duty

Defining Breach of Duty

Breach of duty is a pivotal legal concept in personal injury cases, essential for establishing negligence. In the simplest terms, a breach of duty occurs when an individual or entity has a legal obligation to act in a certain manner but fails to fulfill this obligation. 

For instance, every driver must adhere to road rules in a traffic scenario. When drivers blatantly ignore a red light, they breach their duty to drive responsibly. This breach potentially endangers others.

Applying Breach of Duty to Personal Injury Cases

Understanding personal injury law requires grasping four key elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. In Colorado, like in many states, the plaintiff (the injured party) must show these elements to establish a successful personal injury claim

Let’s delve into how these elements intertwine, emphasizing the importance of breach of duty.

Define the Duty

At the start, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant (the party alleged to be at fault) had a specific duty towards them. This duty could be based on law, societal norms, or the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. 

It’s crucial to recognize that this duty can entail either an action (e.g., a shopkeeper ensuring their premises are safe for customers) or an omission (such as a homeowner not leaving hazardous obstacles on a walkway).

Establish the Breach of Duty

After identifying the duty, the next step is proving that the defendant breached this duty. The plaintiff must display that the defendant’s actions or inactions deviated from what a reasonably prudent person would have done under similar circumstances. 

For example, a driver texting while driving or ignoring speed limits breaches their duty of road safety.


The plaintiff must link the defendant’s breach of duty to their injuries. In Colorado, causation involves two aspects: actual cause and proximate cause

Actual cause, or “but for” causation, implies that the injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s actions. Proximate cause deals with the foreseeability of the injuries resulting from the breach. Both elements are crucial for a successful claim.


The final element is proving damages. The plaintiff must furnish evidence of actual harm. This includes physical injuries, financial losses, or emotional distress. 

Some damages, like medical expenses, are straightforward to quantify. While others, such as pain and suffering, may require more nuanced approaches.

How To Prove Breach of Duty

Establishing a breach of duty is a critical step in any personal injury case based on negligence. It requires more than just an assertion; tangible proof is needed. This evidence can take many forms, from eyewitness accounts and expert testimony to video surveillance and documented correspondence. 

Medical records, accident reports, and even physical evidence from the scene can be used in personal injury cases. They can help show how the breach occurred and the extent of the harm caused.

Challenges in Proving Breach of Duty

Proving a breach of duty is rarely straightforward. One of the immediate challenges lies in establishing the expected standard of care and how the defendant’s actions deviated from this standard. This often involves delving into industry norms, legal precedents, and expert opinions. It might mean proving that a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have acted differently in personal injury cases.

Contact an Experienced Lakewood Personal Injury Lawyer To Help You Establish Breach of Duty

Navigating the intricacies of breach of duty in personal injury cases can be daunting. Understanding these legal concepts is the first step toward seeking justice and compensation. However, the complexities of personal injury law in Colorado make it advisable to seek guidance from knowledgeable professionals. 

Matos Personal Injury Lawyers can offer expert advice and representation for those injured in Lakewood, CO. Reach out to us today at 720) 912 7274 to schedule a free initial consultation.