Gross negligence claims in a civil case imply that the defendant was reckless. If you’re familiar with the law, you’ve heard of the concept of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person breaches his or her ordinary duty of care towards others in society. Negligence happens when the breach occurs and someone is injured.
Most traffic accidents and instances of medical malpractice result from negligence or someone’s carelessness. It doesn’t matter if the negligent person didn’t intend to harm the other party.
Gross Negligence Defined
A person who deliberately acts in a way to hurt someone else through a breach of duty of care is guilty of gross negligence.
Examples of negligence and gross negligence:
Negligence – Bob asks an instructor to teach a class. Bob doesn’t check to see that the ski pole has a crack. The instructor gives a student the defective ski pole; the student suffers a painful shoulder injury. Bob is guilty of negligence in this instance, even though he immediately stops instruction and rushes the student to the hospital for treatment.
Gross Negligence – The same circumstance as before, except that Bob continues instruction, and the student suffers a post-labral tear while waiting for the class to be over.
In the second example, Bob was guilty of gross negligence since he completely disregarded the student’s welfare. The student may get punitive damages from Bob if he or she can prove that Bob was guilty of gross negligence.
What Happens When a Waiver is Signed?
Gross negligence may apply when a person has signed over any chance to make someone liable for any negligence that occurred when a breach happens. That would be true if the student signed a waiver promising not to bring forth a lawsuit against the skiing school for negligence. However, most states won’t force you to sign any waiver promising not to bring a lawsuit over negligence. As far as these states are concerned, if the school is liable, it’s liable.
Gross Negligence Claims Defenses
You have defenses if you’re ever accused of gross negligence since you may not have intended to act negligently. That would be true in a slip and fall incident or malpractice (legal or medical) situation. Note that the following four factors must apply for you to have a defense, though.
Duty of care – you have to prove that you behaved sensibly as per the circumstances that transpired during the incident. Reasonable care refers to how a reasonable person would have behaved in the same situation, given the same circumstances.
Breach of duty of care – You’ll need to prove that no duty of care was breached (by you!) You breach a duty of care when you fail to exercise a reasonable duty of care.
Causation – you must prove that you didn’t breach your duty of care, so you’re not guilty of negligence.
Damages are the physical, emotional, and financial losses resulting from negligence. You would not have to pay damages if you were not guilty of gross negligence.
Always remember to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Truro, if you’re ever accused of gross negligence.