Understanding the 4 Types of Negligence

July 27, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain

Dog Bite Lawyer

When someone is injured due to extreme carelessness, contacting a personal injury attorney and having that person file a lawsuit is often the correct decision. As a dog bite lawyer in Dallas TX from a firm like Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can explain, knowing what types of negligence exist makes picking a lawyer easier. Here’s some information to help you figure out which category your situation falls into.

1. Gross Negligence

Most commonly associated with medical malpractice, gross negligence is irresponsibility in its most serious form. For an accusation to be categorized as such, there must be clear evidence that the defendant behaved without sufficient care for the safety of others. The offense must be both a conscious decision and provable. A home care nurse refusing to feed a patient over an unreasonable period fits this definition. 

2. Contributory Negligence

This second type of negligence happens when someone isn’t entirely to blame for a victim’s injuries yet still bears partial responsibility. If two cars get into an accident while one driver is texting and the other is eating, both of them bear responsibility for unsafe behaviors. Because each operator played a role in causing the wreck, both individuals can be charged with contributory negligence.

3. Vicarious Negligence

The third form of negligence happens when a person creates circumstances that cause someone injury. The defendant might not have wished for an incident to occur, yet specific actions or inactions allowed it to happen. A classic example is a dog bite: If a dog escapes because it is inadequately secured and an unsuspecting passerby becomes a victim to its protective instincts, the animal’s owner is guilty of vicarious negligence. Another example is an employer whose workers get hurt from using equipment in need of repair.

4. Comparative Negligence

Finally, we have comparative negligence. This type of negligence is when the injured party is partially responsible for the incident in question. Getting shocked because of loose electrical wires where danger signs were present is one illustration of comparative negligence. While there should not have been frayed wires nearby, the victim also had ample warning of the danger. Being even 1% at fault could place you in this category. Different states have different rules. Lawsuits classified as comparative negligence sometimes leave the injured party with far less than would otherwise be expected or even nothing at all.

Personal injury attorneys are not all the same. They have specialties that make them better at handling particular cases over others. Contact a lawyer whose experience aligns with your case for the best results.