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What Is Gross Negligence?

What is Gross Negligence?

What is gross negligence? It refers to an act showing a severe and reckless disregard for the lives or safety of another person. While ordinary negligence involves the failure to provide an adequate level of care or caution, gross negligence is far more severe in its level of apathy or indifference. Even in cases where a victim cannot sue someone for regular negligence, he can still bring a case for gross negligence. To explore this concept, consider the gross negligence definition.

It is more than simple inadvertence, but it is just shy of being intentionally evil. If one has borrowed or contracted to take care of another's property, then gross negligence is the failure to actively take the care one would of his/her own property. If gross negligence is found by a judge or jury, it can result in the award of punitive damages on top of general and special damages.

In today’s business climate, limitation of liability clauses abound. In making purchases or ordering services, the chances are good that you have agreed to limit someone’s liability in a transaction. Of course, when something goes wrong these seemingly innocuous -- or camouflaged -- clauses can come back to haunt us.

what is gross negligence

Many jurisdictions will enforce these limitations of liability clauses unless the party at fault is grossly negligent. In these cases, protecting the public from egregious misconduct is deemed more important than protecting the parties’ right to contract freely. The problem is that many jurisdictions define gross negligence differently. Thus, when trying to prove gross negligence to avoid limitations of liability, you must know the legal standard. These standards are occasionally set forth in statutes, but most are created by case law.

What's The Difference Between Gross Negligence And Ordinary Negligence?

The terms “ordinary negligence” and “gross negligence” frequently appear in discussions of legal matters. Many people do not understand that there is a distinct distinction between the two terms. Negligence is a failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the circumstances, or taking action which such a reasonable person would not. Negligence is accidental as distinguished from "intentional torts" (A "tort" is some kind of wrongful act that causes harm to someone else. This definition covers a wide range of actions, and the legal field of torts is split up into many different subcategories. Such as if the person intended to make a fist and slam it into the victim's face and the person intended to harm the victim).

One of the ways torts are split up is by the mental state of the person that does the wrongdoing; for instance, torts often are caused by someone's negligence. When the person that acts wrongly actually intends to perform the action, it becomes what is known as an "intentional tort."

Each state decides how to distribute fault between the defendant and plaintiff or other defendants. In most states, including South Carolina, the negligence system is a “comparative negligence” system where you can collect even if you were partly at fault for the harm done to you. For example, the defendant ran a red light, at night, but you didn’t have your lights on and it was dusk. However, you can’t recover in South Carolina and many other states if you were more at fault in the accident than the other driver.

If you think you've been the victim of gross negligence, call the Anastopoulo Law firm at 800-313-2546 for a free case evaluation to see if you are entitled to damages and compensation.

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