personal injury

What Is Gross Negligence and Why Should I Know About It?

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Have you been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another? If so, your life may have taken a sharp turn in a different direction. Injuries sustained in accidents can cause a range of significant and lasting difficulties for the victims who sustain them. The pain, the trauma, and the consequences faced every day can be substantial. Fortunately, the law offers victims a way to seek compensation for the losses and harm caused by the negligent action or inaction of another. Through a personal injury claim, an injury victim can seek compensation for things such as medical expenses, the cost of future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Usually, a personal injury claim is based on a legal theory of negligence. To prove that another person was negligent, the victim must be prepared to demonstrate that the other person owed him or her a duty of care, that duty was breached, and the breach of that duty led to the victim incurring injury and other losses. In other words, a person was supposed to act a certain way, but did not and this caused someone else harm. This is how you prove ordinary negligence. There is also, however, gross negligence. It differs from ordinary negligence and here is why you should know about it.

What is Gross Negligence and Why Should I Know About It?

Gross negligence is a step above ordinary negligence. It rises to a different level where a person’s negligence showed extreme indifference and a disregard for the health and safety of others. It is more than mere carelessness.  It is recklessness of a higher level.

While gross negligence may not form a distinct and separate basis for a personal injury claim in New Mexico, there is still a small, but relevant space for gross negligence in Nex Mexico personal injury law. This space is that of qualified immunity. In New Mexico, certain specified individuals and entities, under specific sets of circumstances, enjoy immunity from personal liability. The exception to this is if the person or entity is deemed to have acted in a grossly negligent or intentionally harmful manner. Usually, qualified immunity appears in cases where there are government employees and entities involved. It can also apply, however, in certain medical malpractice cases.

It is also important to note that gross negligence will not entitle you to punitive damages in a New Mexico personal injury case as it may in other states. Punitive damages are only granted in New Mexico where the defendant acted with “an evil mind.” This raises to a level beyond that of gross negligence.

Personal Injury Attorney

The laws surrounding a personal injury claim can be complex and frustrating to understand, particularly when you are trying to heal from an injury sustained in an accident. The dedicated personal injury team at Hunt Law is here to assist you through the whole process. Let us take on the legal burden so that you can focus on getting your life back on track. Contact us today.