Using Traffic Violation As Proof Of Negligence In Auto Accidents
In an automobile accident action against a driver for damages suffered in a car collision, the driver’s violation of a traffic law can be evidence of his or her negligence.
The law calls negligence based upon the violation of a specific requirement of law “negligence per se.” Negligence per se means that as a matter of law negligence existed. While the violation of a traffic law is negligence as a matter of law, the violation does not mean that the driver is liable unless the negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
For a traffic law to set a minimum standard of care so that its violation is negligence per se, the courts have noted that the law must be one to promote safety; the plaintiff must be a member of the protected class; and the defendant must be a person upon whom the statute imposes specific duties.
For instance, it is against the law to travel on a road at night without headlights and a driver, who does so, is in an accident. The driver’s violation of a traffic law can be evidence of his or her negligence.
Using Traffic Violation As Proof Of Negligence In Auto Accidents. A driver’s violation of a traffic law can be evidence of negligence in an auto accident.