Negligence, defined

Failure to do what is required of you; this is what negligence means. Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. (G.R. No. 73998)

The diligence with which the law (or contract) requires an individual to at all times govern his conduct varies with the nature of the situation in which he is placed and the importance of the act which he is to perform must be observed. Failure to do this, there is negligence. (G.R. No. 159617)

To determine whether there has been negligence by the defendant, there is a two-step analysis that may be used:

[1] What level of diligence does the law (or contract) and the circumstances of the case required of the actor?
[2] Has the actor acted in accordance with the level of care required by law (or contract) and the circumstances surrounding the case?

In one case, the Supreme Court held: "It cannot be denied that in jumping into the sea, one mile and a half from the seashore of Arceli, Dumarang, Palawan, Filomeno failed to exercise even slight care and diligence[. They] displayed a "reckless disregard of the safety" of [their] person[. They] could not have been but conscious of the probable consequences" of [their carelessness and that [they were] "indifferent, or worse, to the danger of injury." (G.R. No. L-6870)

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