Personal injury cases are centered around a negligent action that has directly resulted in the injury of a third party. Negligence is defined as the breach of an owed standard of care due to recklessness. This can range from speeding on the streets to not mopping up a spilled drink at a restaurant. When you add a factor of extreme recklessness or maliciousness to the negligent action, you get gross negligence.
Gross negligence is a conscious disregard for the standard of care owed to fellow citizens. In Utah personal injury cases, if the reckless party is proven to have demonstrated gross negligence, they can be found liable for more severe punishment and higher damages. To understand exactly what constitutes gross negligence in Utah, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer immediately.
How Is Gross Negligence Defined in a Utah Personal Injury Case?
The State of Utah understands gross negligence to be the:
“Failure to observe even slight care; it is carelessness or recklessness to a degree that shows utter indifference to the consequences.”
For example, imagine a local restaurant or shop has a dangerously uneven walkway that can very easily result in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident. The shop has been notified by multiple guests and even a building inspector of the hazardous condition and has been told to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Knowing the potential consequences of the dangerous walkway and not taking the necessary steps to fix or block off the area can be proven to be grossly negligent. This is demonstrated in court through evidence, previously-drafted reports, and expert statements. Demonstrating that you have been injured due to gross negligence leaves you eligible for higher compensation and the at-fault party for more severe penalties.
What Are Possible Damages for Those Affected by Gross Negligence?
Those who have been injured by another’s gross negligence are eligible for compensation. This includes the following:
- Punitive: Punitive damages are not linked to the harm experienced as a result of the negligence. Rather, they are a penalty for the at-fault party’s extreme and knowing recklessness. Punitive damages are not recoverable for personal injury cases not involving gross negligence.
- Economic: These damages are specifically for the cost of your injury, including medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, any rehabilitation therapy, or prescription medication costs.
- Non-economic: Non-economic damages will help cover the emotional pain and suffering your accident has caused. These include items that don’t have an associated price point, like pain, suffering, loss of consortium, and more.
Nobody injured by the recklessness of another should be financially responsible for the aftermath of their accident. To see how a personal injury attorney can help you access the money you need to start fresh today, reach out to the team at Feller & Wendt.
Speak to a Qualified Utah Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Gross negligence is an act to be taken very seriously, and Feller & Wendt is here to do exactly that. With years of experience getting out clients the results and compensation they need to move on, our team of prestigious attorneys is here to fight for your rights today. Our client-first approach to Utah personal injury means you have a knowledgeable lawyer by your side throughout the entire process, from the initial consultation to the final settlement.
The faster you reach out, the sooner we can begin collecting evidence, demonstrating gross negligence, and building your case. To get started today, schedule a free consultation with an actual attorney by calling (801) 499-5060 or through our contact form.