Ordinary negligence and gross negligence are legal concepts that describe the level of carelessness or recklessness an at-fault party showed in causing an accident. There’s a legal difference between the two that can greatly influence the outcome of your personal injury case.
The determined level of negligence can affect whether your case is allowed to move forward and can impact the amount of compensation you can expect to receive.
What is Gross Negligence in Personal Injury Cases?
Gross negligence is the extreme lack of care shown by one party to another party that results in harm. Ordinary negligence and gross negligence are often separated by the level of recklessness exhibited by the at-fault party.
Gross negligence can also include a disregard or delay in someone’s immediate care once they are hurt. Another dividing line is the agreed-upon level of care a “reasonable person” would have likely shown versus what a person who didn’t reasonably care or purposely took risks would show.
How Do You Prove Gross Negligence?
With ordinary negligence, you must prove that someone had a “duty of care” to protect you. For example, as a visitor to someone’s store, they have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment. They must have breached that care, and their carelessness must have contributed to your injury and damages.
With gross negligence, you must go even further to show proof that the negligent party was more than careless. They chose to put lives in danger. They perhaps received a warning about a hazard, but consciously made the decision to ignore the issue. They may have acted so irresponsibly that the accident is nearly intentional.
Do Liability Waivers Cover Gross Negligence?
People who sign waivers to engage in potentially dangerous activities may think that they can’t sue if they get injured. You could sign these types of waivers as you travel or even when you try zip-lining. They usually protect companies from being sued for accidents caused by normal negligence.
However, in serious accidents, you and your legal representative can file a lawsuit claiming gross negligence. In court, waivers to protect companies from gross negligence usually don’t hold up to legal scrutiny.
Personal Injury Damages
If you are hurt by someone’s negligence, the responsible party should be held accountable for every consequence or “damage” caused by that action. That accountability should extend to cover all medical costs associated with an accident, presently and those medical costs expected in the future.
Damages can include lost wages while the victim has had to miss time at work while recovering. Damages can be awarded for financial and emotional hardships and for the loss of quality of life a victim may experience.
Contact a Los Angeles Gross Negligence Lawyer
If you believe your personal injury case in Los Angeles or anywhere across Southern California involves gross negligence please contact the attorneys with the Law Offices of Steers & Associates.
We offer a no-obligation evaluation of your case and are ready to help you determine if your case rises to a particularly dangerous level of conduct. We can advise you of your options even if your case only involves ordinary negligence. No matter the type of case, we want to stand by you and allow you the freedom to heal from your injuries without the worry of extreme financial burdens