What is the Difference Between Negligence and Negligence Per Se?

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Friday, Oct 20, 2023

As we approach the holidays, we’ll most likely see an increase in personal injury cases brought on by those who are violating the law. Drunk driving remains a persistent problem in New York.

If the other driver broke the law in your case, your lawyer won’t just be asserting negligence. Your attorney will assert negligence per se, instead.

In any New York personal injury case, your lawyer must prove the other party was negligent in order to press a claim. Negligence generally means that the other party was either responsible for doing something they did not do, or was required to avoid doing something they did do.

Negligence per se is different. If your lawyer can assert negligence per se then your lawyer will no longer have to worry about proving that the other party is negligent.

The Definition of Negligence Per Se

Negligence per se means “negligence in itself." It means that the conduct is assumed to be negligent because it was also illegal.

If the driver who hit you was driving under the influence, driving while texting, speeding, or breaking other traffic laws, then negligence per se would apply in your case. Another example would be a construction case in which it was found that the defendant was violating New York scaffolding law.

The Impact Negligence Per Se Has on Your Case

Negligence per se isn’t an auto-win for a personal injury case, but it does make it a little easier. It’s one less fact you’ll have to prove.

Your lawyer will still have to prove that there was clear causality between the defendant’s violation of the law and your injuries.

In some rare cases, a particularly egregious violation of the law could offer the opportunity to pursue punitive damages in your personal injury case. They are not guaranteed and are difficult to secure, but your personal injury attorney can often make a very convincing argument in these sorts of cases.

Get Help Today

Personal injury cases are always complicated. Proving negligence per se is just one of the many complications that could arise during the course of your personal injury case.

That’s why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side.

If you think you might have a case, don’t hesitate. Reach out to our office to schedule a free case review today.

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At Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in New York recover compensation. The clients we represent benefit from the personal attention of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.

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The attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have obtained verdicts and settlements of over $1 Million for hundreds of our individual clients. Since all New York personal injury law firms generally charge the same legal fee why not hire an experienced law firm with a proven track record?

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You can reach partner Abraham Jaros directly, either call his cell 917-842-9544, or email him at ajaros@lawjaros.com. Or call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212 227 2780 in New York, or toll free 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire.