Understanding Negligence Per Se - What It Means and How It Works

Negligence per se is a legal principle that often arises in personal injury cases. Still, many people may need help understanding what it means or its role in the legal system. This principle can significantly impact a case's outcome, so it is important to be informed. In this blog post, we will explain what negligence per se is, how it works, and some examples of how it has been applied.

What is Negligence Per Se?

Negligence per se is a legal principle that can be used in cases of negligence when a defendant has violated a law or regulation that was designed to protect public safety or individual rights. In these cases, the violation serves as evidence of negligence, making it easier for victims to prove their case. To be considered negligence per se, the following elements must be met:

  • The defendant violated a law or regulation designed to protect against the alleged harm
  • The plaintiff belongs to the class that the law or rule was intended to protect
  • The violation caused the plaintiff’s injury

Negligence vs. Negligence Per Se

Negligence refers to the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. It's a breach of a duty of care that damages another person. For example, a driver not paying attention to the road and causing an accident would be considered negligent.

On the other hand, negligence per se occurs when an individual violates a statute or ordinance, and that violation causes harm to another individual. The distinguishing factor here is breaking a law designed to protect a particular class of people. For example, if a driver runs a red light (a clear violation of traffic laws) and causes an accident, this could be considered negligence per se.

When Can Negligence Per Se Be Applied?

Negligence per se can be applied in various circumstances, from car accidents to medical malpractice to slip and fall cases. For example, if a driver is texting while operating an automobile and causes an accident, they have violated a law that was designed to protect public safety. If the accident victim can prove that they were injured because of the driver’s negligence, then the driver can be held liable for their injuries under the principle of negligence per se.

However, not all violations of laws or regulations will result in negligence per se. There are some exceptions to the rule, such as when the defendant can show that they could not comply with the law due to circumstances beyond their control or when the law was not designed to protect the plaintiff’s interests.

How the Law Offices of Lepley, Engelman, Yaw and Wilk Can Help

Negligence per se is an important legal principle that can significantly impact the outcome of personal injury cases. By understanding what it means and how it works, victims of negligence can better understand their legal rights and hold negligent parties accountable. The law offices of Lepley, Engleman, Yaw, and Wilk are proficient in handling cases involving negligence per se.

Our seasoned personal injury attorneys comprehend the intricacies of negligence per se, ensuring that victims fully understand their legal rights. If you've suffered injuries due to another's negligence, our team is ready to offer expert legal advice and guide you through the process of holding the negligent party accountable. We are committed to helping you navigate your legal options and fiercely advocating for the justice you deserve.


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