How To Sue For Punitive Damages For Gross Negligence In A Personal Injury Case

Punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases because they’re generally used to punish grossly negligent behavior on the part of the defendant.

Personal injury “damages” in general

Personal injury lawyer in Antioch knows that the damages tend to be awarded to the plaintiff by the court to punish the defendant for his or her reckless actions.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are rarely seen in personal injury cases because they’re meant to punish the defendant, to get him or her to think about his or her irresponsible actions, and to keep him or her from acting that way in the future.

If you’re the plaintiff and you want punitive damages, you’ll have to prove that the defendant neglected his or her duty of care towards you and/or that he or she acted towards you in a negligent manner.

What Is Gross Negligence?

Gross negligence is the result of negligent behavior or reckless conduct. It constitutes a conscious disregard for your safety or rights. Government entities and employees may lose their immunity if you can prove that gross negligence was involved. Take for example, if a business had a weak roof and was negligent in fixing it, despite the building inspector asking them to and ordering that portion of the commercial establishment to be closed to customers.

However, the business ignored the orders and the roof fell and hurt the people or customers within the premise. Then the business can be sued for gross negligence because despite knowing that the roof could fall and by ignoring the inspector’s orders, it was open for customers. That showed complete disregard for people’s safety.

Gross Negligence and Waivers

You can use gross negligence if you were injured and you have otherwise waived your rights to hold the defendant liable for ordinary negligence. Just remember that the waiver in most contracts is not legal and if the defendant is liable when he or she is responsible for the accidents.

Limitations On Punitive Damages

Some states put a limit on the number of punitive damages that you can seek from the defendant. Thus, you will need to check with your personal injury lawyer in Antioch to know the limits on damages.

Sanctions For Lack of Reasonable Basis

Did you know that you can actually be punished by the courts if you seek punitive damages from the plaintiff but can’t prove that he or she acted in a reasonable enough way to warrant you getting those damages?

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