Negligence per se is an important legal principle in personal injury law. Negligence per se means an act is considered negligent when it violates a law that was instituted to protect individuals. Blood alcohol content limits and speed limits for drivers are some of the most common examples of laws that can result in a negligence per se claim.
The element of negligence per se virtually eliminates the “breach of duty” and “duty” aspects of a personal injury claim. This means that the plaintiff does not need to prove exactly how the defendant’s actions were careless – if you are factoring in the negligence per se. The sheer fact that a law was broken automatically demonstrates that the actions were negligent.
For example, in an automobile accident case, you do not need to establish how the other driver failed to do their minimum duty of care when your Texas car accident lawyer is postulating that negligence per se should apply. Either the defendant broke the law or they did not. If they did violate the law, the question becomes whether that violation caused your injuries and other damages.
In this same automobile accident example, negligence per se would involve offenses such as speeding, running a stop sign or traffic light, reckless driving, or driving under the influence.
Your Texas car accident lawyer can bring up the allegation of negligence per se as a separate claim in your case. With that said, this allegation may fall under the standard negligence claim outlined in a complaint filed in a Texas civil court.
How a Texas Car Accident Lawyer Proves Negligence Per Se
In personal injury claims, proving negligence per se claim generally means the plaintiff’s Texas car accident lawyer needs to prove:
- That the defendant breached a law
- That the objective of the said law was to prevent the very injury that occurred, and
- That the plaintiff (the injured patient) falls in the category of people, which that law was designed to protect
Violation of Law
Proving that a law was broken is typically not that difficult. For example, if the other driver got a notice of traffic violation at the site of the accident, or a builder received a citation for not abiding by the building codes, it is easy to prove that a law was violated.
The Plaintiff is Part of The Protected Class
Almost all the laws are designed to protect the general public. For example, if an Emergency Care physician declines to provide necessary care to someone, they may be found in violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.
This particular law is designed to prevent more harm or death of anyone who cannot pay for emergency care or does not have health insurance. In this case, the physician can face a medical malpractice lawsuit and can be held accountable for negligence per se.
Consult With a Trusted Texas Car Accident Lawyer
Negligence per se claims can seem simple but there are several pitfalls to watch out for and exceptions to consider. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and breach of the law, talking to a Texas car accident lawyer should be your next step.
At Kirk Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers have a strong track record of getting positive results for accident victims and their families. Write to us online to set up a free consultation.