Unfortunately, more often than not individuals are injured through no fault of their own. Instead, they are injured as a direct result of another person’s negligent actions. When this occurs, injured individuals are legally entitled to file a claim against a negligent party to seek compensation for their damages. Legally, negligence is defined as a failure to exercise a standard level of care towards others that a prudent person would do under the same circumstances. However, there is another legal concept “negligence per se” which can be used if the negligent act violates a law that was created to protect society from injuries. Essentially, this doctrine can only be used if the accused has violated a statute that was implemented to protect a class of people from injury. Negligence and negligence per se claims are quite different. To understand the complexities of these legal concepts, please don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Chesterfield County Personal Injury Attorney. In addition, please continue reading to learn when the negligence per se doctrine is applicable.
When is “negligence per se” applicable in a personal injury case in South Carolina?
In tort law, the only time the doctrine of negligence per se is applicable is when the plaintiff’s injuries are a direct result of the defendant violating a statute that was created with the intent to protect a certain class of people from injury. For example, if a motorist runs a red light which causes them to collide with another motorist the doctrine of negligence per se can be used. It is applicable because motorists are legally required to abide by the rules of the road, meaning they must stop when a traffic light turns red. This statute was implemented to protect individuals on the road from harm. Ultimately, by violating this law, the defendant is negligent. If the defendant had stopped at the red light and abided by this statute, the collision and damages would not have occurred.
How do victims prove this doctrine?
As mentioned above, negligence and negligence per se claims are fairly different in terms of how they are proven. Typically, victims are required to prove that the defendant owed them a standard duty of care. However, with negligence per se claims, victims do not have to establish that the defendant owed them a duty of care. It is already presumed that they owe the victim a duty of care as they violated a statute that was created to protect society from harm. Instead, victims are required to establish that the defendant violated a law that was implemented to protect a class of people whom the plaintiff is a part of from injury.
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been injured due to another party’s negligence, contact one of our skilled and adept attorneys. With years of experience, we can help you navigate the complexities of a negligence per se claim. Our qualified legal team is committed to helping our clients seek compensation for their damages.