DeMayo Law Offices have provided you with a legal dictionary so that you can better understand some of the legal vocabulary used throughout our website and during your personal injury claim.
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Negligence – In its broadest sense, carelessness. Negligence refers to a person’s failure to follow a duty of conduct imposed by law. Every person is under a duty to use ordinary care to protect oneself and others from injury. Ordinary care means that degree of care which a reasonable and prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances to protect oneself and others from injury. A person’s failure to use ordinary care is negligence. In order to prevail in a negligence action, the plaintiff must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, the following four elements: (1) that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; (2) that the defendant breached that duty; (3) that the defendant’s breach of his or her duty of care was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury; (4) that the plaintiff suffered injury.
Negligence Per Se – Conduct, either by act or omission, that may be declared and treated as negligence without argument or proof of negligence, usually because the conduct violates a statute. A finding of negligence per se satisfies the plaintiff’s burden of proof that the defendant’s conduct was negligent. However, the burden remains on the plaintiff to establish that his/her injuries were proximately caused by the statutory violation.