In just about any personal injury case, the claimant must show that the person allegedly responsible was guilty of common law negligence. This involves showing a duty of care, a breach of that duty, the cause in fact, proximate cause and damages.
Between each of those elements are numerous defenses. Therefore, if a claimant cannot prove any one of those elements, his or her negligence case fails in its entirety. Under the law of negligence per se, a claimant might be able to bypass nearly all those defenses. Instead, they raise a legal presumption that the other party was careless and negligent.
The Consequences of the Presumption
Crucial to the negligence per se presumption is the fact that a jury won’t need to consider whether the defendant acted or failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
That goes to the heart of the standard of care. Because with negligence per se, they don’t consider the question of how a reasonable person might act. The presumption is the defendant’s act or failure to act are unreasonable, so long as his or her conduct is in violation of an applicable statute, regulation or ordinance.
Kentucky has codified negligence per se with Ky. Rev. State. 446.070 which states: “A person injured by the violation of any statute may recover from the offender such damages as he sustained by reason of the violation. . .”
Raising the Presumption
If negligence isn’t admitted, a jury will need to decide whether the defendant violated a certain statute, regulation or ordinance. Should the decision be in the affirmative, the standard of care and breach of duty are assumed so long as both of the following conditions are satisfied:
- The statute intends to prevent the type of accident that the claimant was a victim of.
- The violation of the statute was a substantial factor in contributing to the accident or the accident’s proximate cause.
Rebutting the Presumption
When the presumption of negligence arises, it’s rebuttable. Defenses that might be successful in rebuttal follow:
- The defendant did not commit a violation of an applicable statute, regulation or ordinance.
- The claimant wasn’t of the class of people that the statute, ordinance or regulation intends to protect.
- If there was a violation, it wasn’t the cause of the claimant’s injuries.
Being the victim of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else can have serious physical, financial and emotional consequences for victims and their families. If you sustained injuries due to the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, you may be eligible to receive compensation.
To receive the full value of your claim, you’ll be in need of an experienced, respected and aggressive Kentucky personal injury lawyer. Contact the Tiger for a free consultation and case review. Once we represent you, our objective will be to obtain the highest settlement or award possible on your behalf.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kentucky
Do you have more questions about negligence per se in Kentucky? Speak to a member of legal team today to learn more about our state’s accident laws. If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, do not wait another minute, call us right now at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC at (502) 458-5555 to discuss your case and get the help you deserve.