When you’ve been hurt in a car accident or other Florida personal injury situation, one of the keys for recovering from your injuries is establishing liability – usually by arguing a someone negligently caused them harm. One of the simplest ways to do that is by proving someone broke a law or a regulation; it’s also known as negligence per se.
What Is Negligence Per Se?
If someone broke a law you sue them for personal injury damages, the judge or jury won’t consider if a reasonable person would have done the same thing – they will consider the actions negligent and start examining what damages followed. However, you can’t use just any civil or criminal law to prove negligence per se. The law or regulation must be a “safety statute” designed to protect the safety of some group of people. Common statutes cited are traffic regulations prohibiting running red lights and speeding, criminal laws like drunk driving statutes, and building codes. It’s important to show:
- Someone broke a rule, statute, regulation, or other law;
- That law was meant to protect a group of people;
- You were in the group the law was meant to protect; and
- Their actions harmed you in a way the law was designed to protect you from.
If you are claiming your injuries were caused by a criminal law violation to recover personal injury damages, the court doesn’t have to follow sentencing guidelines or other possible punishment options even if they rule that negligence per se did occur due to breaking the law. They can, however, award the same compensatory damages as with violation of any civil law.
Speak to an Attorney
Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin if you’ve been injured by somewhere else – you’re most likely hurting physically, emotionally, and financially. To make sure you don’t make any potentially costly mistakes in your case, call the experienced Pensacola Personal Injury Attorneys at Stevenson Klotz to make sure your case litigated aggressively to secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries. Call us at (850) 706-4226 or complete our online Contact Page to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation today. The initial consultation is free, and you don’t pay until you win your case. Let our experienced attorneys work to get you the best result from a bad situation.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.