In the unfortunate event that you become injured in an accident as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to take legal action to seek monetary compensation for your damages. In tort law, the legal concept of negligence is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care toward another that results in injury. However, under certain circumstances, the “negligence per se” doctrine may apply to your case if you can establish that the defendant violated a law that was implemented to protect a class of people you are a member of. Essentially, the negligence per se doctrine is only applicable when a person is injured as a result of another person violating a statute that was created with the intent to protect people from harm. Please read on and contact an experienced Memphis Personal Injury Lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of a negligence per se claim.
What is the “negligence per se” doctrine in personal injury cases in Tennessee?
Negligence per se is a legal concept that states that an act is negligent when it violates a law that was implemented to protect the public from harm. The following are different scenarios when the negligence per se doctrine is applicable:
- If a motorist violates a traffic code such as running a red light, speeding, driving recklessly, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and strikes a vehicle. The negligence per se doctrine applies in this situation because traffic laws were designed to keep the public safe from harm.
- If a dog bites another person because the owner does not have the dog on a leash. In Tennessee, it is illegal to let a dog run at large. This law was created to protect the public from harm. The negligence per se doctrine is applicable in this case because the statute requiring dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash in public was created to keep the public safe from injury.
How do you prove this doctrine in court?
Negligence and negligence per se claims have some similarities, however, they are different regarding how they are proven in court. Typically, you would have to establish that the defendant owed you a legal duty of care. In addition, you would have to prove they breached that legal duty of care which caused your injuries and damages. However, with a negligence per se claim, you do not have to prove that the defendant owed you a legal duty of care. Instead, it is already assumed that the defendant owed you a duty of care as they violated a statute that was implemented to protect a class of people you are a member of from harm. Moreover, you will have to establish that the defendant violated a statute. You must also establish that the statute they violated was created to protect people from harm. Finally, you must prove your injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s violation of the law which was created to protect a class of people that you are part of from harm.
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident due to another person’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our determined and trusted team members. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek the justice they deserve.