Understanding Negligence Per Se in Georgia Personal Injury Cases

Understanding Negligence Per Se in Georgia Injury Cases

Legal Definition of Negligence Per Se

While many negligence cases result in extended periods of negotiation and even litigation, some are more straightforward. One method is through a doctrine known as Negligence Per Se. In its most simple terms, the concept of Negligence Per Se leverages a criminal violation of law to demonstrate a defendant acted negligently in a civil lawsuit.

If a defendant in a civil lawsuit has already been found negligent in criminal court, this prevents the defendant from attempting to disprove their negligence.

Examples of Negligence Per Se in Georgia Injury Cases

When it comes to Georgia personal injury cases, below are several examples to illustrate how Negligence Per Se can be applied to an incident that led to the plaintiff’s injury:

Uniform Rules of the Road Violations

In Georgia, a violation of the uniform rules of the road that results in a crash will automatically assign guilt to the individual who violated the law. Common violations include:

Other Negligent Acts that Result in Injury

Proving Negligence Per Se in Georgia

In a civil trial, proving Negligence Per Se can occur through a different means. One will be to look if the driver who caused the wreck has paid any tickets or fines. Once a driver pays the ticket, even if they never go to court, it is an admission of guilt. This admission will be submitted into evidence and eliminate any question of negligence.

The second way is to show that the defendant did, in fact, violate a law. This would be useful if there is no police report or ticket given to the other driver. Witness testimony, electronic data from the vehicle and surveillance footage of the area all can all be used to prove that a violation of law happened.

All of this is also why it is important to get a police report as well. Officers may use statements from all parties to assist in drawing conclusions and determining the possibility of violations of the law.

What Happens After Negligence Per Se Is Proven?

Once it has been proven that the law was broken, your attorney will tie it back to your injuries. Your medical records will note that you were in a car wreck, causing your injuries. This is important as the insurance company will look to somehow show that you were already injured, or the injuries were not as bad as you claim. This is why it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The treatment you receive is important as it helps to create the medical narrative for your case. Be sure to make doctors aware that you were in a collision and that is what brings you in to see them.


About the Author

Stephen Apolinsky

Stephen D. Apolinsky is a Personal Injury Attorney who specializes in representing individuals and families concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases. Stephen is licensed to practice in Georgia, Alabama, and the District of Columbia. With over 33 years of experience representing personal injury victims, Stephen has successfully tried over 80 cases to verdict before judges or juries, and has negotiated over 300 cases to out-of-court settlements. Stephen has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association.