What Is Gross Negligence?

Negligence-300x200Gross negligence is a distinct type of negligence that surpasses the expected standard of indifference observed in most personal injury cases. The gross negligence standard primarily centers around the excessiveness of the defendant’s deviation from reasonable care. Under New York law, gross negligence involves “reckless indifference to the rights of others.” Case law indicates that the defendant’s behavior must include “failure to use even slight care or conduct that is so careless as to show complete disregard for the rights and safety of others.”

Common Examples Of Gross Negligence

Some examples of gross negligence would include:

  1. A drunk driver, well over the legal limit, colliding into a school bus full of preschoolers;
  2. Nursing home staff failing to provide a bedridden resident with enough water, causing them to die from dehydration;    
  3. A doctor providing a medical treatment that conflicts with their patient’s medical history;
  4. A condominium owner in a building with lots of children intentionally leaving fireworks in the elevator; and 
  5. A driver speeding through a densely populated pedestrian area.

Even though the defendant may not have tried to injure someone else purposely, willful misconduct still plays a massive role in most gross negligence cases. Furthermore, gross negligence often originates from a pattern of conduct that demonstrates blatant disregard for the health and wellbeing of others.  

How Showing Gross Negligence Can Benefit Your Case

The most substantial benefit of showing that the defendant acted with gross negligence is the possible assessment of punitive damages. Punitive damages go beyond simply compensating victims and are designed to punish defendants for their conduct. These damages are intended to set an example and discourage others from acting similarly. Punitive damages are added to other types of personal injury compensation, such as hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. The worse the degree of reckless indifference is towards the victim’s safety, the greater the chance that punitive damages will be awarded. 

Please Call Our Veteran Litigators If You Have Suffered Injury Due To Another’s Reckless Disregard

Being the victim of an accident, especially one caused by someone’s flagrant indifference, can be an overwhelming experience. The battle-tested lawyers at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. can help you hold the responsible party liable for their grossly negligent actions. We will gather crucial evidence to prove that your injuries were caused by severe neglect of your rights or wellbeing, allowing you to seek punitive damages in addition to all other forms of compensation. Hire Jed Dietrich, Esq., well-known as an American Institute of Trial Lawyers Litigator of the Year, and his elite team to fight on your side every step of the way. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s seasoned team of attorneys is available twenty-four-seven by calling 716-839-3939 or by completing our online consultation form.




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