In some personal injury cases, a defendant may not only have been negligent but acted with extreme recklessness or a conscious disregard for others. This is known as gross negligence, which is much harder to prove than ordinary negligence.
Negligence is an individual or entity’s failure to exercise a duty of care in the same way that a reasonable person would under the circumstances. The concept of negligence is what most personal injury cases are based on. The court must decide whether someone acted negligently and therefore caused injuries to others.
The plaintiff (victim) must prove that the defendant (at-fault) party (1) owed them a duty of care to prevent them from harm, (2) neglected that duty, (3) directly caused their injury, (4) which resulted in damages (financial and other losses). As an example, all drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road to drive safely and follow traffic laws. If a driver runs a red light and hits a pedestrian, they violated their duty of care and therefore committed an act of negligence.
There are two main types of negligence in personal injury cases: ordinary negligence and gross negligence. The most significant difference between the two is the severity of the breach of duty of care.
Establishing gross negligence with the help of a personal injury lawyer will depend on the circumstances, but the facts of how the injury occurred typically speak for themselves.
These actions are deliberate. When gross negligence contributes to serious injury to others and damage to property, victims may be entitled to punitive damages. This type of compensation is only awarded in cases of extreme carelessness, as it is intended to punish the defendant.