Personal injuries and accidents are common. However, some personal injuries may not be accidents. In other cases, they may have easily been avoided. The term gross negligence is often used to describe injuries from deliberate or excessive negligence. If you want to better protect yourself and get the settlement you deserve, check out these commonly asked questions about gross negligence.
What Is Gross Negligence?
Everyone can neglect to follow rules or laws by accident or on purpose. For the most part, these are considered ordinary negligence. They include actions like running a stop sign and causing an accident. You are still probably responsible, but the courts know you were not malicious.
Negligence becomes gross negligence when your actions prove you simply do not care about the safety, health, and well-being of others. Gross negligence usually involves actions that have clear negative consequences. These may include running a stop sign while a bunch of kids crossed the street, speeding through an area with lots of pedestrians, or purposely withholding food to someone in your care.
How Can You Prove Negligence?
To prove negligence, you need four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty refers to the defendant’s responsibility to prevent harm to people on the property. For example, if a hazard existed, such as a hole in the ground, the homeowner has a duty to warn you about it by verbally telling you and/or roping off the area.
Breach simply means the legal duty was broken (the homeowner did not give you warning of the hole). Causation refers to what caused the accident, so in the above example, the causation would be a hole in the ground. Last, you need to have experienced damages, such as an injury and/or damages to property. Once you can prove all these factors, you should get a fair settlement.
Can You Get a Better Settlement for Gross Negligence?
If you have been injured, and someone else is to blame, by default, you will likely get enough money to pay for your medical bills associated with the injury. Depending on the extent of the injury, however, you may also qualify for lost income, future lost income, future medical bills, or pain and suffering. These all depend on how the injury affected you.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, have nothing to do with you. Punitive damages are a punishment for people who actively try to injure someone, which can include gross negligence. If the courts find the negligence was severe enough, such as starving someone, punitive damages will likely be added to your settlement.
Is Gross Negligence a Crime?
Gross negligence can also slip into criminal law categories. For the most part, regular negligence is not a crime because it was accidental. However, gross negligence can lead to legal problems, such as fines, probation, or even jail time.
Typically, the action needs to have been reckless to also be considered a crime. For example, driving under the influence of alcohol greatly increases the risk of accidents, so causing an accident while driving drunk will lead to criminal charges, and the injured person can still sue for damages.
Most accidents are just that — accidents. However, if you were injured by someone who behaved in purposely reckless and dangerous behavior, they may be guilty of gross negligence. If you would like to know more about personal injury and gross negligence, contact us at Midwest Injury Help today. Our medical and legal professionals will work hard to help with your case and give you the compensation you deserve. We are always happy to answer any of your questions and concerns.