Why Would an Accident Victim Claim Gross Negligence?

Gross negligence is a legal term. It refers to behavior that has exceeded the level of carelessness and neglect that is normally associated with traditional negligence.  

Why might an accident victim claim gross negligence? 

An accident victim would have the right to hire a personal injury attorney. That attorney might indicate that the defendant’s behavior was such that the court could agree to a request for punitive damages. A lawyer could get fined for requesting punitive damages, if the court did not feel that the defendant’s actions had warranted the presentation of such a request.  

The plaintiff had signed a waiver, before taking part in a risky activity. The plaintiff had then become injured, while enjoying that same activity. If that injured victim had hired a personal injury lawyer in Turlock, that same lawyer would have explained that he/she would need to enter a charge of gross negligence, in order to go after any form of compensation.  

A smart lawyer would study the circumstances that had allowed for the accident’s occurrence. If the client had agreed to all of those same circumstances by signing the waiver, then the client’s chances for winning any compensation would be close to zero. However, if some new issue or circumstance had caused the accident, then the lawyer’s strategy would call for making the suggested charge [of gross negligence]. 

Why does the legal system call for punitive damages in cases where the defendant has displayed gross negligence?

The legal system hits such defendants with the need to pay punitive damages in order to place an added punishment on the person that has been much too careless or far too neglectful.  

The money demanded by the court as punitive punishment is not a compensation to the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff does receive that money, and can be taxed for receipt of those same funds.  

What are some possible defenses against a charge of gross negligence?

Different states have different definitions for an action that depicts an excess level of carelessness or neglect. If the defense lawyers could prove that the defendant’s actions did not match all of the elements in the state’s definition, then their argument might succeed in defeating the charge that had been made by the plaintiff’s attorney. 

A defense team might seek to show that the nature of the plaintiff’s injury did not match with the alleged instance of grossly negligent actions. For instance, a minor injury would probably not be the single result of an action that was either grossly careless or illustrative of an exceeding amount of neglect. Smart lawyers would not take a client that had suffered no more than a minor injury, after having signed a waiver.

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