Negligence Per Se
Negligence per se is a “cause of action” claim that suggests a person acted negligently, causing harm to another, by violating a law (criminal, not civil) that is set to protect people for that specific reason. Speed limits are a perfect example of laws set in place to protect the public. If a person were to ignore a speed limit, exceed it, and then cause an accident that harms another person, they can be held accountable under negligence per se laws.
The plaintiff party would have to first show that the defendant broke the law, which is fairly concrete. Then the case can move onto proving how violation of that law caused the victim harm. The negligent act had to have caused the type of harm the law was intended to prevent specifically, like in the case of reckless driving and motor vehicle accidents. And the victim has to be part of the “class” the law was set to protect; in this case, the public class.
To Prove Negligence Per Se, the Following Four Facts Must Be True:
1. A Safety Law was Violated
2. The Violated Law is Punishable By Criminal Penalty, Not Civil Penalty
3. The Violated Law is Set to Protect the Public from the Type of Injury Inflicted
4. The Injured Victim is a Member of the Class that the Violated Law Protects
Other examples of common negligence per se claims include buildings codes, city codes, health and safety codes, intoxicated driving, blatant medical malpractice (i.e. refusing emergency care, removing incorrect organ, practicing without a license, etc.), and more. States and jurisdictions vary in the use and application of negligence per se claims. Depending on your state or jurisdiction, the process can differ greatly. It is recommended to hire a licensed personal injury attorney that concentrates on the accident you or your loved one experienced so that your family’s rights are protected. A seasoned accident lawyer can help families recover the full and fair compensation they deserve after being injured as a result of another person or entity’s carelessness.