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How Does Gross Negligence Invite Imposition of Punitive Damages?

Gross negligence refers to a defendant’s failure to respect a recognized legal duty. Defendants that have been hit with that charge have ignored their duty to care about others’ safety. Moreover, their negligent actions have demonstrated a decided level of recklessness.

Legal consequences for display of gross negligence

Such a display could lead to imposition of punitive damages by the court. Courts use punitive damages as a way to punish some defendants, in an effort to keep others from following in the defendant’s footsteps.

The damage award goes to the plaintiff; It gets added to the other awards, which represent the compensation for damages. Still, it does not reflect the negative impacts of the accident. Instead, it reflects the nature of the actions that caused the same accidental and impactful occurrence.

Why do personal injury lawyers like to claim that a defendant has exhibited gross negligence?

According to the law, someone that had signed a waiver, before using a certain recreational facility, could not bring charges against that same facility, should he or she become injured, while taking part in the facility’s activity. Yet that rule does not apply, if the injury had resulted from an act of gross negligence.

Elements that must be in a defense against charges of grossly neglectful actions

The defendant demonstrated expected care towards the plaintiff and had used a reasonable level of care.Since the defendant did not breach an expected duty, he or she did not cause the plaintiff’s injury. That argument removes the charge of causation.

The defendant was exercising his or her duty of care, and should not be held responsible for the plaintiff’s injury. In other words, the defendant’s need to pay damages should be removed.

Legal limitations on practice of charging defendants with grossly neglectful actions

Some states have put a cap on the amount of money that a plaintiff can receive, in the form of punitive damages. That forces plaintiffs to sue the allegedly guilty facility, instead of seeking an award, as the result of a personal injury case.

Each court has its own ability to limit the number of times that any attorney seeks to take advantage of the opportunity to make such a charge (gross negligence). It does that by insisting on proof that there exists a reasonable basis for the attorney’s actions.

If a court feels that an Injury Lawyer in Waterloo has failed to prove the existence of that reasonable basis, then it can punish that same attorney. How does a court punish a lawyer? It does that by imposing sanctions. In other words, it limits the number of cases that the same lawyer could help to try in the courtroom.