negligence per se

What is Negligence Per Se?

Can a driver involved in an accident be found to be negligent without a determination of fault?  Pennsylvania has a legal concept known as negligence per se.  Negligence per se translates to “negligence as a matter of law”.  Generally, in a standard motor vehicle injury case, to recover damages, the burden is on you to prove that the other driver did something wrong and that the wrongful act was the cause of the accident.  However, if the other driver violated certain sections of the motor vehicle code causing an accident, they may be negligent per se. Thus, essentially satisfying the most difficult aspect of a personal injury case – proving the fault of the other driver.

Not every violation of the motor vehicle code is deemed negligence per se.  The Court considers certain factors when determining whether to apply the negligence per se standard.

  1. The purpose of the law must be to protect you or people in your situation, as opposed to the public generally;
  2. The law must clearly apply to the person you wish to sue;
  3. The person you wish to sue must have violated the law;
  4. The person’s violation of the law must cause your injuries.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.


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