What is a reasonably prudent person?

         In determining whether a person is guilty of a tort of negligence, the court asks whether or not the person accused of the tort acted as a "reasonably prudent person" would act in the same situation.

         By a reasonably prudent person, the law generally means an adult of average age and experience who suffers from no physical or mental disability.

         However, when judging the conduct of someone who is physically disabled, the law compares that person's conduct to what would be reasonably expected of a person with the same disability.

         While the saw makes this concession in judging the actions of the physically disabled, it doesn't make a similar concession for those who suffer from a mental disability.  So, for example, a person who would be considered mentally incompetent and unable to face criminal charges could still be sued for damages in a civil lawsuit.