In the legal world, negligence refers to a person’s failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to others. When someone acts negligently and causes a preventable accident, sometimes injured victims can earn compensation for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim. However, there are some personal injury cases that use the concept of “negligence per se”. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry because our knowledgeable law firm has all the answers you need. To learn more, continue reading or contact one of our Queens Personal Injury Attorneys today for individualized legal counseling.
WHAT IS “NEGLIGENCE PER SE”?
“Negligence per se” literally means negligence in itself. In a nutshell, the negligence per se doctrine is used in personal injury cases where the defendant (person who caused the accident) broke a law that led to the incident. This concept makes it much easier for victims to earn compensation after a preventable accident.
HOW IS NEGLIGENCE PROVEN IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES?
Normally, there are four main steps to proving negligence in the courtroom:
- Duty: The defendant had a reasonable duty of care to minimize harm to others.
- Breach: The defendant violated their duty.
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty directly led to the preventable accident.
- Damages: The victim suffered as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
In many personal injury cases, all four of these elements are necessary to prove the victim’s claim. However, if a defendant also committed a crime that led to the accident, it becomes unnecessary to prove the first two steps – duty and breach. This is because you automatically breach civic duties by violating a law, especially a law designed to protect others from harm.
For example, let’s say someone drives while under the influence of alcohol and crashes into another car, injuring that driver. Drunk driving is illegal because it poses danger to the general public; in fact, statistics show that over 10,000 car crash fatalities per year are caused by drunk drivers. Therefore, someone who chooses to drive while intoxicated violates their duty of reasonable care even if they don’t crash into anyone. So in this scenario, the injured victim of the drunk driver should more easily be able to prove that the defendant acted negligently because they broke a safety regulation.
Have you recently been injured in a preventable accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior? You might want to speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney who can help you to determine your best options. Thankfully, the Law Offices of George Poulos are on your side! Contact our highly experienced team today for an initial consultation.