Imagine you are driving on a dark road in the middle of the night. You
arrive at a stop sign. You are about to make a left turn onto a 2-lane
street when all of a sudden- crash! Another vehicle slams right into the
side of your car. Where did it even come from? You didn't see the
car approaching because the other driver did not have his headlights on.
The impact was so high that you sustain serious injuries.
This is a classic example of a legal doctrine known as negligence per se.
This scenario is very similar to a landmark New York case, which established
that a violation of a statute that is not excusable constitutes negligence per se.
Distinguish this from a typical claim of negligence. As you learned from
previous blogs, motorists have a legal duty to use and operate their vehicles
with "reasonable care" in order to prevent injury to others.
Failing to act as a reasonable person would under like circumstances may
be considered negligent behavior that could result in liability. A jury
decides whether or not a defendant’s actions were negligent based
on the facts of the case.
On the other hand, negligence per se is based on violations of state or
federal statutes that are intended to promote public safety. Simply put,
an act or failure to act is considered negligent because it violates a statute.
Newburgh car accident attorneys know that in order to be successful in a claim for negligence per se,
it must be proven that the defendant's violation of the statute proximately
caused plaintiff's injury and that plaintiff is in a class of individuals
that the statute seeks to protect.
Driving without headlights at night is a violation of New York's Vehicle
and Traffic law. Lights are designed for the guidance and protection of
other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. In the automobile case above,
defendant's failure to turn his headlights on caused the collision
and subsequently, plaintiff's injuries.
Harm caused from failure to use headlights can result in financial liability.
Have you been injured at night because another driver did not turn his
headlights on? Call out
experienced Newburgh car accident attorneys today to assess your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Other examples of negligence per se that fall within the context of motor
vehicle accidents include driving over the posted speed limit, running
a red light or stop sign, and failing to yield the right of way. More
examples include violation of
New York’s Move Over Law and
New York’s cell phone law.
Learn more about important New York Statutes and Negligence Per Se
in our article posted here. Read about New York’s Move Over Law and how it protects police and
fire rescue from serious injuries inour blog post available here. Learn about New York’s harsher cell phone law and how it serves
to protect the public in
our blog post available here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.