Often in injury litigation we raise violations of statutes as one of our theories of liability. This can take the form of violating a statute on the rules of the road, or when a property owner violates the local building code and someone gets hurt. Many of us understand that these laws passed by our legislature are designed in most situations to protect us, but what is often misunderstood is how these can help win your case.
This theory of liability is called “negligence per se”. A person is negligent per se if they violate a statute designed to protect against the type of accident or harm caused by their conduct, and the plaintiff is someone the statute is designed to protect. A good example of this is our driving while intoxicated statutes. If a person injures someone else as a result of driving under the influence (DUI), then that person will be charged with a crime. The injured person can also allege in their injury complaint that the person violated the DUI statute and caused their injuries.
Likewise, other rules can be used to help you win your case. If a landlord does not follow the building code in your local town by constructing appropriate railings, then you can allege this violation of the building code to help you win your case.
The reason this is helpful is these laws are designed to protect people. When a person violates those rules, it creates a danger to all of us that encounter those folks. Juries understand that violations of law can cause injuries, so understanding these rules, statutes, ordinances and other laws is important to making sure the jury understands the conduct that caused a particular injury.
At PMM Law we look to these statutes to help frame our injury cases, and show the jury how violating these laws designed to protect us caused our clients life changing injuries. If you need help with your case, contact the experienced attorneys at PMM Law today.