Understanding Negligence Per Se and How it Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case in California
Proving a personal injury case is often difficult, but when negligence per se is involved, there is one less step to take. Read on to discover the facts about this legal doctrine, then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to request a free legal consultation and to determine the best options for your particular case.
Understanding the Legal Doctrine of Negligence Per Se
In short, negligence per se means that a person who has taken a certain action is negligent if that action violates a law or statute. The most common example is often a drunk driver who gets into a car accident.
You Must Prove Three Elements in Traditional Negligence Cases
When it comes to your traditional negligence case, there are three elements to prove:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the injured party
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- The injury and damages were the results of that breach of care
It can be difficult to prove the first two elements in a traditional negligence case.
Negligence Per Se Establishes the First Two Elements
When negligence per se is relevant, it establishes the first two elements automatically. This means you do not have to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care or that they breached that duty of care. All you must prove is that the breach resulted in your injuries. We will then need to prove the extent of your injuries and damages.
Situations in Which Negligence Per Se Applies
If the defendant violated a statute, law, or regulation, and the intent of the statue law, or regulation was to prevent the injury that occurred, and the injured party was one of the people the law, statute, or regulation was intended to protect, then negligence per se likely applies.
For example, when a statute requires that all cars come to a complete stop at a school crossing, the purpose is to keep pedestrians safe from vehicles. If a teacher uses the crosswalk and is struck by a vehicle that does not stop at the crosswalk, negligence per se would be applicable because the driver violated the law, the law was intended to protect the injury that occurred, and the teacher was a person that the laws intended to protect.
Get a Free Legal Consultation to Determine Your Best Options
No matter the cause or guilty party in your accident, if you have been injured in a car accident, we welcome your call to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation. We can determine who was likely at fault, help you determine what your case is worth, and work with you to move forward. Call us today to learn more.