Understanding Negligence Per Se in Florida
Accidents happen each day throughout the state of Florida. However, not all accidents or incidents result in a monetary award of damages. To successfully assert a claim for damages, the injured party must assert that there was negligence on behalf of the at fault party. However, there are some limited instances in which the actions of the wrongdoer eliminates the requirement to prove negligence. One such instance is where an at fault party is negligent per se. If you or someone you know has suffered a bodily injury at the hands of another’s conduct, contact an attorney to discover your options for recovery.
An Overview of the Doctrine of Negligence Per Se and its Benefits
Typically, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof in negligence cases. To establish negligence, the injured party is required to show there was (1) a duty owed to the injured party; (2) a breach of the duty owed; (3) injuries that were proximately caused by the defendant’s breach; and (4) damage that occurred as a result of the breach.
Negligence per se is a doctrine that establishes negligence as a matter of law. Negligence per se will be established if the following elements are met:
- The defendant violated a statute or ordinance aimed at public safety;
- The plaintiff is a member of the class in which the statute intended to protect;
- The plaintiff suffered the type of injury the statute was intended to protect;
- The plaintiff’s injury was proximately caused by the defendant’s violation;
Once negligence per se is established, usually via a conviction, the burden of proving negligence is removed. In these types of cases, the plaintiff proceeds to the last element of negligence, to determine the amount of damages.
Examples of Negligence Per Se Cases
As previously suggested, negligence per se cases result from a violation of a statute or ordinance. The following is a couple of ways a negligence per se claim may arise:
- Driving Under the Influence: Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in the state of Florida. Any accident that occurs as a result of intoxication may subject the wrongdoer to criminal charges as well as civil liability for monetary compensation.
- Dog Bites: Dog owners are liable for any damages if another individual is bitten by a dog. However, negligence per se may result if a dog bite occurs as a result of a violation of statutes requiring a dog to be kept on a leash or allowing a dog to trespass.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been injured in an accident or incident in or around Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. Our attorneys are skilled personal injury litigators who will investigate your claim to determine whether the individual can be held liable on a per se basis and discuss all available options to effectively handle your personal injury claim.