Previous posts here have discussed the concept of negligence. Our readers may remember that in many car accidents a person suffering property damage or injury may be able to recover monetary damages from another person who was behaving in a negligent manner. The basic elements of negligence include that the individual alleged to be at fault must have had a legal duty, that the duty was breached and that the breach of the duty caused the damages to the victim.
In Connecticut, as in many other states, there are some situations in which the law does not require the showing of all these elements by specific evidence. One of these situations is termed “statutory negligence.” The idea behind statutory negligence is that certain actions by a driver, in the case of car accidents, may be considered to be automatically negligent if the individual broke another state law, usually a criminal or traffic law.
For example, a person who has violated Connecticut’s reckless driving statute may be considered to have been negligent. Basically, if the jury concludes that the defendant’s behavior meets the definition of recklessness, as defined in the statute, they should consider the driver to have been negligent. The state reckless driving statute includes specific examples of reckless driving, which are travelling at a speed that creates a danger to the life of those who are not driving the motor vehicle in question and driving any vehicle on a public road at more than 85 miles per hour.
There are many potential ways the person who caused a car accident may be statutorily negligent. These include various speeding violations, as well as other traffic infractions, such as turning violations, right of way infractions, failure to use devices such as lights and failure to properly maintain a vehicle, like having unsafe tires. Those who have suffered damages in a car accident may be able to pursue financial compensation.