The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, L.L.P. ® 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.
Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, L.L.P. ® to schedule a free initial consultation.
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.