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Negligence Per Se
Typically, a negligence claim involves proving that the defendant had a duty of care to others, breached that duty, and that the breach has caused both injuries and damages. However, a claim of negligence can be considered automatically valid if it falls under the doctrine of negligence per se, which deems an act necessarily negligent because it violates a statue or law whose purpose is to protect certain people from negligence.
Negligence per se requires that the following four criteria be met:
- The plaintiff must have violated a law. Although the defendant may be held liable for another form of negligence, if he or she has not violated a law, it cannot be considered negligence per se. Implied in this is that it must be proven that the law was violated; proving this can be difficult if the facts are contested, so it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with your case.
- The law violated must be related to safety. Traffic laws are one of the most common types of these laws that are violated.
- The harm done must be of the type that the law was designed to prevent. If a defendant violates a traffic law, but you are injured as a result of something unrelated to the traffic violation, it is not considered negligence per se.
- The law must protect the class of people to which the plaintiff belongs. Because many safety laws are designed to protect the “general public”, this is usually the easiest point to prove. However, there are certain exceptions, so contacting an experienced personal injury attorney is necessary to ensure the success of your case.
If you have been injured as a result of someone violating a traffic law or any other statute, contact a Cedar Rapids personal injury lawyer with Leehey Olson Law, P.C., today at 877-209-9452.