Negligence Per Se in Car Accident Cases
In South Florida, car accidents occur frequently with many leading to significant injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and internal bleeding or bruising. Because severe injuries can require expensive hospitalization and treatment, legal action against the responsible party may be necessary. Legal claims such as personal injury and wrongful death suits arising out of a car accident must be supported by evidence that a party has acted negligently. One method of proving negligence is by showing “negligence per se” in a car accident case. If the plaintiff can establish that the at-fault driver caused the accident by violating a penal statute, the driver may be deemed to be negligent as a matter of law. Miami car accident attorney Robert Dixon helps those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision determine the appropriate legal response based on the facts of their case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we provide personal attention to each case through investigation and aggressive advocacy. We represent clients throughout South Florida, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you in the aftermath of a car accident, contact our office today. You can schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options.Negligence Per Se in Car Accident Cases
To succeed in a legal claim arising out of a car accident, the victim, known as a plaintiff, has the burden of proof in showing that a defendant has acted negligently. In many cases, negligence requires proving that a defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the duty of care was breached by the defendant’s actions, and that the plaintiff was injured or killed because of that action, leading to damages. However, in cases where negligence per se applies, the burden of proof is lower since there are fewer elements that need to be proven to establish negligence. A plaintiff claiming negligence per se may show that the defendant violated a law that was enacted to protect the public or a certain type of people from harm, and that a violation of that nature caused the accident. However, under Florida law, negligence per se is not applicable for a violation of a traffic rule, but requires that the statute violated be a non-traffic, penal statute. A seasoned accident lawyer can assess whether a negligence per se claim may be appropriate in your case.
For example, negligence per se in car accident cases may be found when drivers cause traffic accidents while operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Florida, adults 21 or older with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher may not drive a motor vehicle. The state legislature enacted this law to ensure the safety of motorists, passengers, pedestrians and anyone else on the road. Therefore, when a person drives while intoxicated, violates the statute, and causes an accident, the driver may be considered negligent as a matter of law. A plaintiff in such a case only needs to show that the defendant violated the statute as proof of negligence. Plaintiffs must also prove causation, meaning that the negligence caused their injuries. Victims may then receive compensation for property loss, past and future medical costs, loss of income, lost earning ability, and pain and suffering. In wrongful death claims, certain family members may be awarded damages in the form of burial and funeral expenses, any outstanding medical bills related to the victim’s injury that led to their death, as well as loss of support.Consult With a Skilled Attorney in Miami
Having a strong legal advocate on your side in the aftermath of a serious motor vehicle accident is important to pursuing the resources you need to deal with your recovery. The Law Offices of Robert Dixon serves clients in Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Our lawyers are available to assess the legal strategy for your case and make sure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you have questions about your options, please call (877) 499-4878 or contact our firm online to set up a free, no obligation consultation.