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Overview of 'gross negligence' and its impact in a car accident


Many of our previous posts here have addressed the wide variety of ways in which drivers cause car accidents in Georgia. From drunk drivers to distracted drivers to negligent drivers, there are all kinds of individuals out there on the roads every day. However, some car accidents are caused by more than a driver's simple lack of care. In some cases, the legal concept of "gross negligence" will come up.

Gross negligence goes beyond the type of negligence that most people who are injured in an auto accident will see in a personal injury lawsuit. Gross negligence comes into play when the behavior of the driver who caused the car accident rises to such a level of careless disregard or recklessness that it borders on causing intentional harm. To fall under the realm of gross negligence, the driver in general must have been operating a vehicle in such a way that the driver could have expected that such operation would in fact lead to a dangerous situation for other drivers or pedestrians.

When a car collision involves gross negligence, there are two important aspects of a personal injury lawsuit that may change. First -- and fortunately -- it may be easier to convince a court or jury of the driver's dangerous behavior. Second, if a driver's gross negligence can be proven, the amount of damages that are eventually awarded to the injured victim could be increased.

Of course, attempting to prove gross negligence in a case will usually spawn a stiff defense effort to rebut such a claim, which is why it is important for any Georgia resident who is injured in a car accident to get the right information about any potential personal injury claim they may have.

Source: law.cornell.edu, "Gross Negligence," Accessed Jan. 2, 2016

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