Negligence is the basis for all personal injury claims. To have a successful claim for compensation, the Plaintiff or injured party must show that the other person’s actions were the direct cause of their accident and that those actions were not the common actions of other people in the same situation.
Negligence is defined by the State of Florida as “An action taken by a person that any other reasonable person under the same situation would not take.” Even though this sounds very simple to prove, in many cases, it can make proving negligence very complicated. Because of these complications, the court systems have also introduced the legal term of negligence per se.
What Is Negligence Per Se?
The official negligence per se definition is “A person can be found negligent of their actions if those actions violated a public safety statute.”
This means if the actions taken by the person that resulted in the accident and injury were against the law, the court would automatically assume that they were negligent in their actions.
Negligence Per Se Examples
One of the easiest examples of negligence per se Florida is driving under the influence. If you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are violating a law. If you cause an accident or injury while you are operating that vehicle under the influences, your actions would be considered negligence per se because they are in direct violation of a driving law.
Another example would be a person who knowingly allows their dog to get loose when they know that the dog is aggressive or has had a history of biting people or attacking other animals.
Negligence vs Negligence Per Se
You may be asking yourself why these two types of negligence are considered different. It is always assumed that someone who causes an accident or injury violates the law.
That is an incorrect assumption. Many accidents or injuries happen that are not in violation of a law. These accidents occur for many reasons, like poor decision-making or lack of concern. There are no laws, however, that were broken when these accidents occurred. That is why there is a distinguishable difference between these two types of negligence.
To help you further distinguish the type of negligence involved in your case, you have to take the negligence per se vs negligence one step further and look at how each is addressed in court.
4 Points To Establishing Negligence
1. Duty of Care.
You must show that one person had an obligation to another person to act in a way that would cause no harm. An example would be a doctor’s visit. You go to a doctor to receive care for your condition. When that doctor accepts you as a patient, there is a duty of care established.
2. Breach of Duty
A breach of that duty must have occurred. Regarding medical care, that could be anything from misdiagnosis to surgical errors. The attorney would have to show that any other doctor of the same expertise, education, and experience would have handled the situation differently and that there would have been a different outcome.
3. The Breach Caused An Injury
The result of the breach caused the person to be harmed. In the example of a medical care provider, this may mean that the condition worsened because of misdiagnosis or there was physical harm because of an error.
4. The Injury Led to Financial Losses
This is perhaps the easiest thing to prove. If an injury occurred, there would be medical bills, lost income, and other financial losses associated with that injury.
4 Points To Establishing Negligence Pro Se
1. The Defendant Violated a Law
Like the sample used above, a person driving under the influence is in violation of traffic laws.
2. The Plaintiff was a Person that the Law was Meant to Protect
With traffic laws, this is very easy to establish. If the Plaintiff or injured party was legally operating their vehicle on the roads, the law against driving under the influence was established to protect them from other intoxicated drivers.
3. The Injuries Sustained by Plaintiff are those that Would Have Been Prevented if the Law Was Obeyed
Using a traffic violation as an example, any injury Plaintiff received as a violation of those traffic laws would qualify under this criteria.
4. The Violations by Defendant Caused the Plaintiff Financial Losses
Again, this is the easiest thing to prove. If there were an accident and an injury, there would be financial losses, possibly including things like medical bills, car repairs, lost income, emotional distress, pain and suffering damages (those last two are more difficult to prove), and more.
Florida personal injury attorneys
If you have any questions about the difference between Negligence and Negligence Per Se, you should speak with a personal injury attorney at Landau Law. They will tell you based on the facts of your case which form of negligence they will claim in their lawsuit against the responsible party.