personal injury claim

What Is the Difference Between Gross Negligence and Ordinary Negligence?

Did you know that negligence is really a cornerstone of personal injury law? Most personal injury claims are, in fact, based on negligence. You see, when a person acts in a negligent way, either due to action or inaction, and this negligence causes injury to someone else. That person is said to be at fault, or liable for the resulting injuries. Through a personal injury claim, the injured party can seek compensation for harm suffered due to the negligence of another. The at-fault party will then be held accountable for compensating the injured party for losses sustained. In most cases, it is the insurance company for the at-fault party that is tasked with the actual compensation.

You see, negligence really is a central concept in the personal injury realm. To make matters even more complicated, there are different levels of negligence. For instance, have you heard of gross negligence? We will discuss more gross negligence here and how it differs from ordinary negligence.

What is the Difference Between Gross Negligence and Ordinary Negligence?

In California, gross negligence is considered to be a level above ordinary negligence, but not as serious as recklessness or intentionally harming someone else. In the past, California courts have proclaimed gross negligence to be a lack of any care or an extreme departure from how a reasonably careful person would act in a comparable situation in order to prevent harm from befalling someone. Essentially, gross negligence is a kind of extra or great form of negligence.

Why does differentiating between gross negligence and ordinary negligence even matter? Well, it can matter in a number of situations. For instance, certain California statutes only impose liability on a defendant who exhibited gross negligence. In these instances, California law explicitly imposes a duty of care for a person to avoid gross negligence as opposed to just ordinary negligence.

The difference between gross negligence and ordinary negligence can also be relevant in the event that a plaintiff signed an “assumption of risk” agreement. In these agreements, the signing party is often required to waive claims pertaining to the ordinary negligence of the defendant. Gross negligence, on the other hand, falls outside of such an agreement. In fact, liability for gross negligence cannot be released in an express contractual provision

Personal Injury Attorneys

While the nuances of personal injury law, such as the differences between gross negligence and ordinary negligence, can be difficult to unravel, they are often critical in helping to ensure an injured party gets the compensation they deserve for losses they have sustained due to the negligence of another. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we are committed to fighting for the injured. With our thorough understanding of the law and our dedication to serving our clients, we fight for full and fair compensation for accident injury victims. We are here for you. Contact us today.