Compassionate Legal Support When You Need It Most
Compassionate Legal Support When You Need It Most

What is negligence per se?

Many Baltimore car accidents are not really ‘accidents’ at all. Most accidents are caused by the negligence of one or more parties, including drivers, vehicle owners, employers, and manufacturers. When one of these parties breaches a duty owed to a motorist and that breach of duty causes an accident, negligence has occurred.

Negligence per se involves a violation of the law

Proving negligence requires the plaintiff, or the accident victim, to establish four elements. To prove negligence, an accident victim in Maryland will need to establish:

  • Duty
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

Establishing negligence per se will satisfy the duty and breach of duty requirements. Proving negligence per se requires the accident victim to show:

  • The defendant (negligent party) violated a law (typically, a traffic law or statute).
  • The plaintiff (accident victim) was a member of the class of people the law was intended to protect.
  • The plaintiff suffered an injury the statute/law was designed to protect them from.

Accident victims may cite negligence per se in cases where the at-fault driver violated state law. Some examples include:

  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Running a red light or stop sign

If negligence per se is proven

If negligence per se has been proven, the plaintiff can focus on proving that the violation of the statute proximately caused the accident and the injuries and damages they suffered. Car accident victims who successfully establish all four elements of negligence can recover both economic and non-economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney can help you file a negligence claim against the parties responsible for your crash.