In most cases of personal injury, negligence must be proven using a variety of criteria. However, in some cases, negligence is assumed. Here’s what you need to know about “negligence per se” and what to do if you or a loved one were the victim of an injury or an accident that was caused by another individual or entity.
If someone causes an accident or injury, several things must be established, including:
- Whether or not that person owed a duty of care to the individual who was injured (e.g. a doctor owes a duty of care to his or her patient and drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road)
- Whether or not the actions of the person violated the duty of care that was owed
- Whether or not the violation of the duty of care directly caused real damages, including injury or death
The burden of proof is on the plaintiff in a personal injury suit, meaning they must establish each of these points in order to be eligible to make a case for compensation. This usually involves proving that a reasonable person would have acted differently than the defendant in the same situation.
What is Negligence Per Se?
In some cases, the above does not have to be proven. Typically, if an individual causes an injury or death as a result of breaking a law, negligence is assumed, also called negligence per se. Examples of negligence per se include but are not limited to:
- When a drunk driver causes an accident
- When someone runs a stop sign or stop light and crashes into another driver, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist
- If an emergency room doctor refuses to provide treatment
- If a construction worker fails to to abide by building codes and someone is injured as a result
In negligence per se cases, it must be proven that:
- A violation of the law occurred
- The intent of the law was to prevent death or injury
- The person who was injured or killed belonged to the class of people the law was designed to protect
When to Contact an Attorney
Any time you or a loved one are injured through no fault of your own, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case in detail. Your attorney will go over the facts of your case and determine how best to present your case. Call the Slonaker Law Firm today for more information at (352) 629-6656.