What is Negligence Per Se?

Typically, in a car accident case, fault must be proven in order to establish an accountable party who would be held financially responsible for damages. However, in some cases, fault is assumed and does not require the same burden of proof. Here’s what you need to know.


Negligence Per Se Defined


Negligence per se, simply put, is assumed negligence because a law or statute has been violated. This means that the act that caused injury does not require evidence to prove that a reasonable person would have acted differently in the same circumstances. Nor does it have to be proven that the person at fault owed a duty of care to the person who was injured. In negligence per se cases, where a statute or law has been violated and someone was injured as a result, negligence can be automatically assumed.


Types of Negligence Per Se Cases


The most common types of negligence per se cases are those where a law clearly has been broken. For example, when a person who has been drinking and driving causes an accident, they are automatically considered negligent and at fault for the crash. The same is true of someone who runs a red light or stop sign, someone who is speeding, or someone who is breaking another law that is designed to keep people safe on the road.


What a Negligence Per Se Case Must Establish


Even though the burden of proof in a negligence per se case isn’t the same as other types of personal injury cases, a few things still need to be legally established. This includes:


  • The person at-fault broke a law
  • The intention of the law that was broken was to keep the public safe and prevent injury
  • The person who was injured belongs to the class of people that the law was created to protect against injury

When to Contact an Attorney


Although negligence per se cases are rarer than traditional common law negligence cases, they are more frequent in car accident cases simply because many are caused by negligent drivers breaking the laws.


If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident by a driver who broke the law, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve incurred as a result of the collision. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact the Law Offices of Carl L. Brown at (559) 431-4400.