Legally speaking, negligence refers to careless behavior that is not expected of a reasonable person, in similar circumstances.
Such negligent conduct of a person, if it causes harm to the person or property of another person or both, becomes prosecutable in a court of law. For example, a person driving a vehicle is expected to put on the emergency brake before leaving the car. Suppose the driver forgets this and the vehicle rolls down the steep road, causing damage to a nearby store. Here, the driver is negligent and the store owner can take legal action against the first. Negligence is a concept related to negligence, but is described as a greater degree of negligence.
Serious neglect – Definition
It is defined as a reckless action that is carried out with deliberate indifference to the safety of one person or property of another. If the negligence is a mere lack of action with reasonable care, gross negligence is an extreme form of negligence. If a person drives his vehicle that hits the composite wall of another, causing some damage to the wall, such action can be considered negligence. But, if the driver drove the car under the influence of alcohol or if he was driving a vehicle that he knows is in bad condition or was driving at a very high speed that is above the legal limit, then he can be held responsible for gross negligence .
The basic difference between negligence and gross negligence is in the various degrees of recklessness. It is also interpreted in some legal systems as deliberate and intentional negligence. However, it is very difficult to draw a line between them and the difference between them is a hotly debated topic.
What constitutes a great negligence
Therefore, willful and meaningless behavior that causes harm to the person or property of another person or both is called gross negligence. Such action must consist of certain elements, in order to make the person responsible. Then, the plaintiff has to prove these elements, to prove his case. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant has a duty to the plaintiff as well as to the general public, to act or refrain from acting in a certain way. For example, the driver of a vehicle has the duty to drive it carefully and safely, in order to avoid accidents that may cause damage to the property or the person of others.
The second element is the voluntary and unnoticed act of the accused who violated his duty towards the plaintiff. If the driver of the vehicle drives the vehicle under the influence of alcohol, the act is reckless and in violation of duty to the plaintiff and the general public. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s action caused harm to him or his property, or both. It must be demonstrated that the injury caused could have been avoided, if the accused had acted correctly. In other words, the damage caused was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s action. The driver, who is fully aware of the fact that driving while intoxicated can cause accidents, drives the vehicle and causes injuries to the plaintiff. Then, such an injury is a foreseeable consequence of the driver’s action. To demonstrate gross negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s action includes these elements of negligence.
In summary, gross negligence is an extreme form of negligence and is a debated legal doctrine, which is difficult to prove. In case the defendant’s liability is proven, he will be ordered to pay damages to the plaintiff. In certain regions, even punitive damages are awarded to the defendant, who is found guilty of gross negligence.