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Gross Negligence

Gross negligence occurs when an individual is found to have committed an action that falls below the standard of care a reasonable person would have exercised in a given situation. Gross negligence takes this concept a step further.

When an individual commits a grossly negligent action, then he or she has committed an action that falls substantially below what is considered reasonable. In many cases, it may also mean that the individual who committed the action did so intentionally.

Elements of Gross Negligence

For an act to be considered grossly negligent, it must first pass the negligence test. The negligence test requires that:

  • An individual owes his or her accuser a duty
  • The individual fails to uphold this duty
  • The accuser suffers harm
  • The harm was a foreseeable consequence of failing to uphold the duty

An action that passes this test may be grossly negligent if a few other circumstances are also true. These circumstances may include:

  • The individual committing the action knew of the potential consequences
  • The individual committing the action did so intentionally to harm the accuser

Many premises liability injuries occur such as slips and falls, as a result of gross negligence. Individuals who are found to have committed gross negligence may face stiff penalties for their actions.

Accidents that Can Occur

Punishment for Gross Negligence

As with other civil law cases, gross negligence cases will result in the defendant being found innocent or guilty for his or her actions. If the individual is found guilty, he or she may be ordered to pay:

  • Special damages to cover any costs the victim incurred in the accident
  • General damages to compensate the victim for pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages as punishment for committing a grossly negligent action

Punitive damages are only paid in cases of gross negligence and are meant to deter individuals from committing similar actions in the future. All damages are paid to the accuser, who is also known as the plaintiff.

Contact Us

Individuals who commit grossly negligent actions likely knew of potential harm that could have resulted and should be punished. For more information about holding a grossly negligent person accountable, please contact the Denver personal injury lawyers of Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., at (303) 423-1770.


At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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