Standard of care
In tort law, the standard of care is the degree of prudence and caution required of an individual who is under a duty of care. A breach of the standard is necessary for a successful action in negligence.
The requirements of the standard are closely dependent on circumstances. Whether the standard of care has been breached is determined by the trier of fact, and is usually phrased in terms of the reasonable person. It was famously described in Vaughn v. Menlove (1837) as whether the individual "proceed[ed] with such reasonable caution as a prudent man would have exercised under such circumstances".
Professional standard of care
In certain industries and professions, the standard of care is determined by the standard that would be exercised by the reasonably prudent manufacturer of a product, or the reasonably prudent professional in that line of work. Such a test (known as the 'Bolam Test') is used to determine whether a doctor is liable for medical malpractice.
A special standard of care also applies to children, who are held to the behavior that is reasonable for a child of similar age, experience, and intelligence.