Skip to main content

4 Types of Negligence Cases With Free Attorney Consultation

4 minute read

By Kimberly Dixon

If a person is injured or has incurred damages as a result of another’s actions, they may consider filing a lawsuit against the other person for negligence. However, depending on the actions that led to injury, the type of negligence claim can vary.

There are four primary types of negligence that are typically seen in lawsuits: gross, contributory, comparative and vicarious. Learn what each of these categories of negligence means and how they’re different, as well as what negligence actually means, legally speaking.

What Is Negligence in a Legal Sense?

Negligence occurs when a person’s actions result in harm to another individual or their property. However, in negligence cases, one person doesn’t necessarily harm another with intent — instead, harm is done when a duty of care is breached or responsibilities aren’t taken seriously.

To prove negligence in a lawsuit, the victim is required to prove that they were owed a duty of care by the defendant and that the duty of care was breached. Additionally, they need to provide evidence that they suffered an injury or incurred damages, and that the injury or damages were a direct result of the defendant’s lack of care, or negligence.

Gross Negligence

Gross negligence is characterized by an extreme breach of duty of care. Legally, it’s the worst type of negligence charge a person can face. That’s because gross negligence causes more harm than other types of negligence.

In a gross negligence case, the defendant is accused of conducting themselves with thoughtless disregard and failing to use any level of care to avoid harming a person or property. While gross negligence doesn’t indicate intent to cause harm, it does indicate willful recklessness and behavior that a reasonable person wouldn’t engage in.

Because gross negligence results in severe property damage or bodily harm in nearly every case, the damages owed by the accused when found guilty are generally higher than in other types of negligence cases and may include special damages to cover the plaintiff’s incurred costs, general damages to reimburse the plaintiff for pain and suffering, and punitive damages, which act as a deterrent from acting recklessly in the future.

Examples of gross negligence include:

JRP Studio / Shutterstock

Contributory Negligence

In a contributory negligence claim, a defendant is accused of taking unreasonable actions that contributed to the injury of another or damage to another’s property. In these cases, the defendant isn’t 100% at fault; however, their actions or interference in a particular situation have in some way contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries or damage to their property.

Examples of contributory negligence include:

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a tort rule that applies when two parties are both considered at fault for an accident. In a comparative negligence case, the fault is typically determined by a jury, allocating a percentage of fault to each party. For example, fault may be split 40/60 between the plaintiff and defendant, meaning that the plaintiff would pay 40% of the defendant’s damages and the defendant would pay 60% of the plaintiff’s.

Examples of comparative negligence include:

Vicarious Negligence

Vicarious liability holds a supervisory party responsible for the actions of another. This type of negligence case can be common in employment situations where an employer is held responsible for the negligent actions of an employee. It also applies in conspiracy cases where a member of a conspiracy is deemed liable for the actions of their co-conspirators.

Examples of vicarious negligence include:

Gligatron / Shutterstock

Kimberly Dixon

Contributor

Kimberly Dixon is a freelance writer from Calgary, Canada. While she's covered a vast selection of topics, she's most passionate about creating content that encourages readers to live a more mindful lifestyle. Aside from writing, Kimberly's hobbies include painting and playing music.

Explore

How Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More Money Young woman spending money on social media Save Money

How Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More Money

We’ve all been there before. You’re telling a friend about how you need a new pair of boots and scrolling through your Instagram feed. Then suddenly, like magic, an ad for some boot company you’ve never heard of appears on your timeline. Later, you’ll wonder how Instagram knew to serve you up the right ad […]

Read More about How Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More Money

8 minute read

How To Tell If Your Retirement Is In Jeopardy Young couple worried about finances Save Money

How To Tell If Your Retirement Is In Jeopardy

One of the most common financial concerns for adults these days is retirement. It comes up over and over again. For anyone concerned about money, retirement is a very big problem to confront. Current (and future) generations of working-aged Americans aren’t exactly fairing well, when it comes to retirement savings. Some studies have shown that […]

Read More about How To Tell If Your Retirement Is In Jeopardy

7 minute read

Things To Watch Out For When Shopping At a Dollar Store Save Money

Things To Watch Out For When Shopping At a Dollar Store

It’s true that dollar stores have improved greatly in recent years. Most dollar stores now carry name brand items in some cases. You can likely find a wider selection of grocery-type items too. However, just because dollar stores have improved their offerings doesn’t mean that they are always a good idea. Indeed, there are some […]

Read More about Things To Watch Out For When Shopping At a Dollar Store

7 minute read

See All In Save Money