If you’ve read through our website, you’ve probably seen us talk quite a bit about “negligence,” but what exactly does that mean? Negligence is an imperative part of most personal injury cases in the State of Nevada. It essentially means a persons lack of duty to demonstrate reasonable care. In other words, if a person is found to have acted negligently in a personal injury claim, and their negligence causes harm or injury, the person who has been injured (the Plaintiff) is entitled to seek compensation from the negligent party.
There are two categories of negligence: ordinary negligence and gross negligence. In this article, we will dive deep into the meaning of each and different instances where they could be used.
Gross negligence explained
Gross negligence is described as a severe breach of duty of care derived out of maliciousness, fraud, or the intent to harm. It is an event that appears deliberate or premeditated. It is assigned to a person when they consciously knew their actions would cause direct harm against another person or entity.
Example of gross negligence: A building-owner was aware of and failed to fix a broken handrail on his property. As a result, a guest on his property suffered a broken ankle as a result of leaning on the broken handrail and falling. The store owner knew of the defect, did not mark the hazard, and his deliberate failure to remedy resulted in severe injury.
In proving gross negligence, you will need a skilled injury lawyer to demonstrate that the store owner knew of the hazard and failed to remedy it. This can take quite a bit of investigation and hard work, but it is certainly attainable with the right team on your side.
Ordinary negligence explained
Ordinary negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care without the intention of causing harm on others. A perfect example of this would be a motorist who is driving down a major surface street. They become distracted by texting on their cell phone and end up rear-ending someone directly in front of them. By texting while driving, they have breached their duty of exercising reasonable care.
To establish ordinary negligence, your attorney must be able to argue that, if another person would have acted reasonably in the same situation, the injury or accident would have been prevented. To do this, they must: prove a duty of care, prove that a person breached their duty of care, identify causation, and present damages.
What does negligence mean for a personal injury claim?
If a person is found to have acted out of ordinary negligence, they will likely have to pay compensation to fix their mistake. This is usually done through an insurance carrier or, if they do not have adequate insurance, this can be done directly through their personal assets. That said, if a person is found to have committed gross negligence, they will be responsible for paying punitive damages in addition to the standard compensatory damages.
In other words, if your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can prove gross negligence, your final compensation amount will likely be significantly higher than compared to ordinary negligence.
If you have questions regarding your claim, feel free to contact our law firm at anytime by calling (702) 800-00988 to speak with an attorney at The Injury Firm.