In tort law, negligence is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care toward another person which results in injury. Victims that are injured as a direct result of another person’s negligent actions are legally entitled to file a claim against them. However, they may be able to use the doctrine of “negligence per se.” Victims can use the negligence per se doctrine if the defendant violated a statute that was implemented to prevent injury to the protected class that the victim is a part of. Proving a negligence per se claim is quite different from proving a standard negligence claim in a personal injury case. If you or someone you care about has been injured due to another person’s negligence, contact an experienced Westchester County Personal Injury Attorney who can help you understand the complexities of negligence per se claims. In addition, please continue reading to learn about when “negligence per se” is applicable.
When is “negligence per se” applicable in tort law?
The doctrine of “negligence per se” is applicable when a negligent party violates a statute that was designed to protect individuals from harm. For instance, in terms of a car accident, if a motorist caused a collision by running a stop sign, negligence per se can be used. This is because the motorist failed to abide by the law which requires the motorist to stop at a stop sign before proceeding. This law was implemented to protect society from injury. Therefore, this doctrine is applicable in these circumstances.
How can this doctrine be proven?
With a standard negligence claim, victims are required to prove that the defendant owed them a legal duty of care and breached that duty of care which resulted in their injuries and damages. However, it is pertinent to note that with “negligence per se” claims, victims do not have to prove that the defendant owed them a standard duty of care. With this doctrine, the jury does not determine whether the defendant was negligent. Instead, it is already presumed that the defendant is negligent because they violated a law that was implemented to protect society against unreasonable risks. Nevertheless, victims still have to establish that the defendant has not only violated a law that was intended to prevent injury but in doing so has injured the victim who is part of the protected class that the law was created to protect.
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligent actions of another person, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our adept and trusted attorneys. With years of experience, we can help you understand whether negligence per se is applicable in your case. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek compensation for their damages. Allow our qualified attorneys to help you seek the justice you deserve.