“Duty of care” is a legal obligation which is imposed on an individual requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others. It is the first element that must be established to proceed with an action charging negligence. The claimant must be able to show a duty of care imposed by law which the defendant has breached. In turn, breaching a duty of care may subject an individual to liability. The duty of care may be imposed by operation of law between individuals with no current direct relationship (familial, contractual, or otherwise) but eventually become related in some manner as defined by common law.Duty of care may be considered a formalization of the social contract, the implicit responsibilities held by individuals towards others within society. It is not a requirement that a duty of care be defined by law, though it will often develop through the jurisprudence of common law.