The tort of negligence arises when an act or a failure to act causes injury or damage to another person or their property (Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co 1856).
To determine if the person who causes the injury or damage (the defendant) is liable we must answer the following questions:
Duty of care is a legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others. It used to be the case this legal obligation only existed if there was a contract, but this changed in 1932 with The Neighbour Principle established in Donoghue v Stevenson (1932).
This case established that a contractual relationship is not necessary for a duty of care to exists and that must be some proximity between claimant and defendant and some reasonable foresight of harm.
However, this principle has now been updated/replaced by the Three-part test in Caparo Industries plc v Dickman (1990) known as The Caparo Test.
1. Reasonable foresight of harm:
3. Is it fair just and reasonable to impose a duty of care?
(See legal update at the bottom of the page)
The next step is to determine if someone has breached their duty. To do this we must identify the standard of care expected of the reasonable person (an objective test) and whether the level of care should have been raised or lowered depending on the facts of the case.
To determine the standard of care expected one must ask: what would the reasonable person do in the same situation?
Once the duty of care and breach has been established it must be determined whether the breach caused the damage. This is a two-step process first we must establish factual causation and then legal causation.
However, the defendant will only be liable for reasonably foreseeable damage. This is known as the remoteness test.
The duty of care test has now been clarified by the courts in this latest decision not covered in the videos:
The Court stressed that the Caparo test should not be used to assess the duty of care in situations where this duty is well established in the common law. Also, the police do not have blanket immunity.
“[I]t is neither necessary nor appropriate to treat Caparo Industries v Dickman  2 AC 605 as requiring the application of its familiar three-stage examination afresh to every action brought. Where the law is clear that a particular relationship, or recurrent factual situation, gives rise to a duty of care, there is no occasion to resort to Caparo, at least unless the court is being invited to depart from previous authority” .
YOU MUST KNOW THIS FOR YOUR A LEVEL EXAMS IF YOU ARE SITTING THEM IN 2022. IF YOU ARE AN UNDERGRADUATE ASK YOUR LECTURER ABOUT THIS.