Gross Negligence in Civil Law
In every-day language, we use words like negligent to describe someone who failed to do something they should have done, which then had consequences for others. This applies very similarly to legal cases. With lawsuits recently in the news about negligence and death, this article aims to provide a brief introduction to gross negligence in California law.
What is negligence?
As explained above, negligence implies that the person being negligent had a duty of care for others. In state law this means that the person had a duty to use reasonable care with regards to actions that could affect others. For example, if a fitness gym has workout machines that have unstable bases and foundations, but the gym owner takes no precautions to secure the machines or warn people about them – and someone is injured by the machine – an argument for negligence can be made. Such an understanding in the law allows for various entities and people (whose actions affect other lives) to be held responsible and have a duty of care.
Why is there a difference between negligence and gross negligence?
In some cases, the behaviour of the defendant lacks such little attention to their duty of care, they can face claims of gross negligence, rather than just negligence. Sometimes it is not only the failure to provide a duty of care, but that the defendant acted in a manner in which no reasonable person would. Given that the legal concepts of duty of care, negligence, and gross negligence are quite complex and difficult to understand, civil suits with regards to negligence should be pursued with the aid of an experienced civil lawyer.