The gross negligence concept is essential. After all, it helps in protecting you when another person’s neglect injures you. Injuries suffered due to another person’s negligence can upend your life and make it more complicated in the future. Under Florida law, the person responsible for your injuries is guilty of gross negligence if they meet specific criteria.
If you win gross negligence claims, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, provided you are not found to be responsible for more than 50% of your damages under Florida’s modified comparative negligence system.
What is Gross Negligence?
Negligence is defined as failing to exercise the same caution as a reasonable person in identical circumstances. To prove negligence in a Florida law court, you must show that duty of care and breach of that care are present in the case. However, there is a legal difference between ordinary negligence and gross negligence and the forms of damages that can be awarded. An example of ordinary negligence is accidentally running a stop sign and hitting a person, causing injury.
On the other hand, gross negligence is defined as a willful and reckless disregard for the safety and appropriate treatment of others under Florida law. In both circumstances, the neglect of responsibility must result in harm to someone else, their property, or both. In cases involving gross negligence, the court has the jurisdiction to award punitive damages to the plaintiff. An example of Gross negligence is a person knowingly speeding through a crowd of pedestrians in a vehicle and causing injury.
How Do You Prove Negligence?
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s neglect, you will need proof of injuries. You will have to prove the presence of 4 main elements, which include:
- Duty – Under the circumstances, the defendant owed the injured party a legal obligation to take reasonable care to safeguard them from injury.
- Breach – The defendants’ actions breached the legal duty.
- Causation – The defendant’s actions, or in most cases inaction, caused injury directly to the plaintiff.
- Damages – The actions of the defendant injured the plaintiff.
Punitive damages are awarded when you’re injured due to another person’s gross negligence. The punitive damages focus is punishing the actions of someone found guilty of gross negligence rather than the victim’s compensation. It’s meant to deter gross negligence actions from occurring in the future.
Compensatory damages are the most common. They are compensations awarded to the hurt party and are meant to recover what the plaintiff has lost due to the injury. These damages are awarded to help them return to their financial and emotional state before the injury. They include property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses.
Pursuing Negligence Claims
If you have been hurt and believe that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligent and reckless actions, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to file a gross negligence lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer can examine the facts and determine if there was negligence or gross negligence. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured knowing your case is in experienced hands.
If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligent and reckless actions, contact Winston Law and our team can help you assess your case and the next steps. Reach out immediately via our “live chat,” email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-475-9666 or 800-475-4206.