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Negligence Per Se Claims

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Negligence Per Se Claims

Brien Roche

Negligence per se claims are interesting. Negligence per se is not a cause of action as defined in Rule 1:6.  It may not even be a theory of recovery.  Negligence per se is simply negligence wherein the prohibited conduct is defined by law.  For instance a statute may say that a stair rail shall be 42″ high.  If the stair rail is not 42″ high, that is negligence.  A jury cannot consider the possibility of a 38″ stair rail being okay.  It is not.  The statute has taken that decision away from the jury.  That is really all that negligence per se does.

Elements of Negligence Per Se

To show this form of negligence the plaintiff must show that the statute was intended for public safety, that the plaintiff belongs to the class intended to be protected and that the harm was of the type that the statute was designed to prevent.  Finally it must be proven that the violation was a proximate cause of the injury.  

Whether the conduct was a violation of the statute may be a jury question.  Likewise all of the other elements may be a jury issue.  

If there has been a violation of a statute and if that is a proximate cause of the injury, that may support a recovery for damages.  

Whether you plead negligence per se as a separate theory of recovery is your call.  At the very least the statute, if it applies, creates a duty.  Duty is an important element within a tort claim.  Every tort claim has to be premised upon a duty, a breach of that duty, resulting damages and then proof of the damages.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on negligence per se claims see the Wikipedia pages.

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Negligence Per Se Claims

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Negligence Per Se Claims

Brien Roche

Negligence per se claims are interesting. Negligence per se is not a cause of action as defined in Rule 1:6.  It may not even be a theory of recovery.  Negligence per se is simply negligence wherein the prohibited conduct is defined by law.  For instance a statute may say that a stair rail shall be 42″ high.  If the stair rail is not 42″ high, that is negligence.  A jury cannot consider the possibility of a 38″ stair rail being okay.  It is not.  The statute has taken that decision away from the jury.  That is really all that negligence per se does.

Elements of Negligence Per Se

To show this form of negligence the plaintiff must show that the statute was intended for public safety, that the plaintiff belongs to the class intended to be protected and that the harm was of the type that the statute was designed to prevent.  Finally it must be proven that the violation was a proximate cause of the injury.  

Whether the conduct was a violation of the statute may be a jury question.  Likewise all of the other elements may be a jury issue.  

If there has been a violation of a statute and if that is a proximate cause of the injury, that may support a recovery for damages.  

Whether you plead negligence per se as a separate theory of recovery is your call.  At the very least the statute, if it applies, creates a duty.  Duty is an important element within a tort claim.  Every tort claim has to be premised upon a duty, a breach of that duty, resulting damages and then proof of the damages.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on negligence per se claims see the Wikipedia pages.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation

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