Negligence Per Se in Florida Overview

negligence per se florida

Although accidents happen every day in Florida, not all accidents permit recovery of monetary damages. To successfully recover damages after an accident, one must establish negligence by the at-fault party. However, the negligence per se doctrine in Florida permits recovery without proving negligence. 

What Is Negligence Per Se? 

Generally, a plaintiff carries the burden to prove negligence to recover after their accident. The plaintiff must prove the following elements exist to prove negligence:

  • A duty of care owed to the plaintiff, 
  • The defendant breached this duty of care, 
  • The plaintiff’s injuries are caused by the defendant’s breach, and
  • Damages exist as a result of the breach.

In many situations, negligence may be difficult to prove. However, negligence per se establishes negligence as a matter of law. 

How Do I Prove Negligence Per Se?

Negligence per se in Florida is established when the following elements exist: 

  • The defendant violated a statute or ordinance aimed at public safety;
  • The plaintiff is a member of the class the statute or ordinance was meant to protect;
  • The plaintiff suffered an injury that the statute or ordinance aimed to prevent; and
  • The plaintiff’s injury was caused by the defendant’s violation of the statute or ordinance.

Negligence per se makes it easier for a plaintiff to prove a defendant acted negligently.  

What Are Some Examples of Negligence Per Se?

As explained, negligence per se in Florida involves the violation of a statute or ordinance intended to protect the public. The most common examples of negligence per se include: 

  1. Driving under the influence. Driving under the influence is illegal in Florida. The law prohibiting driving under the influence was created to protect the public. Therefore, accidents caused by an individual driving under the influence may result in the recovery of damages and criminal charges.
  2. Dog bites. In Florida, another negligence per se example is when a dog bites another person. If the dog bite occurred while the owner violated a statute such as keeping their dog on a leash, the doctrine of negligence per se becomes applicable. 

A qualified personal injury attorney can assess the facts of your case to build a strong negligence per se claim. 

Contact Us

The attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon built their reputation on the guiding principles of experience, effectiveness, accessibility, and integrity. 

Since 1913, Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon has dedicated its practice to the preservation of individuals’ and businesses’ interests. We have adapted our practice to use skill, technology, and experience to satisfy our client needs. Our clients reflect the diversity of our practice. We represent individuals, families, businesses, and corporations. 

We consider your representation a privilege and provide each of our clients with the finest legal counsel. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can help you evaluate your options. Contact our office today to determine whether you might have a claim of negligence per se in Florida.