Product Liability Lawyer
“Per se,” meaning “by or in itself.” Negligence per se is a doctrine that simply means, negligence because it is. It is not a separate cause of action but is a method of establishing the duty and breach elements of a negligence claim. Specifically, negligence per se applies in reference to statutes. If a defendant violates a statute and causes harm to another, that violation of the statute is negligence per se.
Notably, Nevada recognizes a wide variety of negligence per se claims, such as product liability, traffic codes, building codes. Since there’s such a variety of claims, you should speak with an attorney that is experienced in your case type. For example, for product liability, you can contact a product liability lawyer.
For a plaintiff to establish a claim for negligence per se, a plaintiff must prove that (1) he or she belongs to a class of persons that a statute is intended to protect, (2) the plaintiff’s injuries are the type the statute is intended to protect, (3) the defendant violated the statute, (4) the violation was the legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, and (5) the plaintiff suffered damages.
One of the more difficult aspects of doctrine is determining whether the prospective plaintiff belonged to the class of persons that the statute was intended to protect. For example, in Elliott v. Mallory Elec. Corp., the Nevada Supreme Court held that N.R.S. chapter 484 applies to all individuals and vehicles on public roads. Id., 93 Nev. 580, 583, 571 P.2d 397, 399 (1977). Specifically, the court stated the following:
Chapter 484 as a whole, however, indicates a more limited intent. NRS 484.777(1) states: ‘The provisions of this chapter are applicable and uniform throughout this state on all highways to which the public has a right of access or to which persons have access as invitees or licensees.’ NRS 484.065 defines “highway” as “the entire width between the boundary lines of every way maintained by a public authority when any part of such way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic.’
Because N.R.S. 484C.110 is within N.R.S. Chapter 484, the statute is intended to protect all on public roadways.
For example, imagine that a person A is driving in the middle lane of the highway heading west when another car, person B, from the right lane cuts of person A without using their blinker. This causes person A to swerve and run into the median, resulting in serious injuries. Person A would likely have a successful negligence per se claim against person B for violating a Nevada traffic statute.
Thanks to Eglet Adams for their insight on negligence per se in the state of Nevada. If you have any further questions regarding per se claims, do not hesitate to contact a dedicated and experienced attorney. You have the right to understand all of your options. Professional legal council is here to help.