Negligence per se means negligence in and of itself. Trevor is a construction contractor in charge of building a house in the country. A common example would be a Texas driver striking a pedestrian while driving over the speed limit. There are four elements to prove to win a negligence per se action. In areas where the safety and security of individuals are important, you’ll see the application of the per se negligence doctrine apply. However, the legal path to get there is very different. When dealing with a “negligence” matter, you must demonstrate that the actions of the defendant deviated from those of a prudent and reasonable person in the same circumstances causing damages. While installing the flu for the fireplace on the first floor of a two-story house, he finds that one of the roof joists is in the way. What would have a reasonable person done in the same circumstances? We will look at what is negligence per se, compare negligence per se vs negligence, compare res ipsa loquitur and negligence per se, look at the elements you need to prove in court, the standard of care, examples and more. (Learn whether a drunk driver is always at fault for a car accident.). If a person violates the road safety laws, the court will assume that the defendant was negligent based on the fact that he or she breached the law. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. An action for negligence and action for negligence per se are distinct types of claims. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In a car accident case, for example, that means you don't need to show how the other driver fell short of the appropriate duty of care when you're arguing that negligence per se should apply. If an ER doctor refuses to provide necessary emergency care, he or she may have violated a federal law known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Negligence per se involves the commission of a negligent act that violates the law. If a builder is issued a citation for failure to abide by building codes, or the other driver received a notice of traffic violation at the scene of the car accident, there isn’t much dispute regarding this first element. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. The bar could be liable for negligence per se, given that serving alcohol to a minor is illegal, and this kind of accident is an accident that the law was designed to avoid. Most laws providing for a negligence per se claim are clear in their intent. What is an example of negligence per se? To prove “negligence”, you must demonstrate four basic elements: On the flip side, to prove negligence per se, you must prove four elements (but slightly different than for ordinary negligence): Res ipsa loquitur is a legal theory or doctrine in personal injury cases allowing a plaintiff to prove the defendant’s negligence using circumstantial evidence instead of the violation of the law. In essence, the plaintiff is exempt from proving the violation of the standard of care. How is this legal theory different from ordinary “negligence”? In contrast to res ipsa loquitur, when dealing with “negligence per se”, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions violated the law, you were a member or class of person the law was intending to protect and you suffered damages the law was trying to prevent. Many states adopt laws and regulations to protect the safety of employees at work and thus prevent workplace injury. How Long Will It Take To Settle Your Personal Injury Case? Variations on Negligence Per Se A few states follow variations on negligence per se. If the law was violated, the discussion moves to whether the violation was the proximate cause of your damages (injuries and other losses). the plaintiff must demonstrate how a reasonable person would have acted in the circumstances and how the defendant failed to act as such. In other words, there is no need to demonstrate how the defendant's conduct was careless if you are relying on negligence per se. Based on the res ipsa loquitur doctrine, a judge can infer that a defendant was negligent if the facts show that there was an accident and the defendant’s conduct represented the only logical explanation. For example, a plaintiff in a car accident case may argue negligence per se by claiming that the defendant was speeding at the time of the accident and caused a rear-end accident since speed limits are intended to foster safe driving and prevent auto accidents. While he may not have broken the law, his behavior was contrary to that of a reasonable person. Negligence per se occurs when a person is negligent while breaking a law designed to protect public safety. The mere fact that the defendant violated the law is sufficient for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s actions breached the duty of care he or she owed the plaintiff. What are the negligence per se elements to prove in court? For example, if you were the one texting while driving when another vehicle struck you, they might be able to prove that your distraction was “contributory negligence.” A car breaking the speed limit and injuring a pedestrian would be negligence per se. A good example to help you understand what negligence per se includes the following hypothetical about a car wreck with allegations of drunk driving on a California interstate. Typical examples of driver behavior that may be considered negligence per se include: Street racing. In many cases, the violations of the building code or the safety requirements will lead to the application of negligence per se doctrine. The law recognizes multiple types of negligence – one of which is known as negligence per se. Some common examples of laws that, if violated, can result in a negligence per se claim are speed limits, building codes, and blood alcohol content limits for drivers. The construction of a property, house, building or other structures is typically governed by building codes imposing legal obligations on the contractors to ensure the property is safe for its occupants. For example, driving laws may specify that exceeding a certain rate of speed is legally negligent. How is Negligence Per Se Cases Different From Negligence Cases? What is An Example of a Negligence Per Se Car Accident Claim?. Two examples of negligence per se in Florida are driving under the influence of alcohol and allowing your dog to bite someone (or failing to prevent it from happening). The class of people the laws are designed to protect is more often than not the public at large. An example would be the DUI laws in Texas. They are designed to prevent bodily injury or some other type of harm, and that intent is usually stated within the text of the law itself. In this example, the ER doctor may be liable for negligence per se and could face a lawsuit for medical malpractice. What are some examples of negligence per se? The defendant’s actions are assumed to fall short of the standard of care the moment the plaintiff proves that the conduct violated the statute, regulation or law. While John was driving, he witnessed a robbery. A very common and easily-understood example of negligence per se is when a speeding driver strikes a pedestrian with his vehicle. For example, it’s against the law to drink and drive while impaired. 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