Difference Between Carelessness and Negligence

Carelessness vs Negligence

There is a thin dividing line between carelessness and negligence which often gets blurred and it becomes hard to say with certainty if the act of commission or omission was carelessness or willful negligence on the part of the person involved. If a housewife spills milk while boiling it on a gas stove, it is termed as her carelessness while a doctor who operates a patient and does not place the stitches properly on the wound is said to be negligent in his duty. In a similar manner, case of negligence is slapped against an owner of a factory if there is a mishap involving machinery and workers at the workplace.

If one looks up in a dictionary, it appears that one of the synonyms of carelessness is negligent. If one is not cautious, inattentive, unwary, unmindful, forgetful, inconsiderate, he is likely to be careless. If a student in his class in inattentive to what his teacher is trying to explain, he will learn in an incomplete manner and is likely to commit careless mistakes while answering. The antonym of both careless and negligent is careful which clearly explains that it is extremely hard to differentiate between carelessness and negligence and it is more of a case of usage historically that causes one or the other to be used in different contexts.

If an otherwise careful driver is distracted momentarily by a sight ands fails to apply brakes in time causing an accident, he has to pay the damages caused to the other party because of his negligent driving. Though he was careless for a moment, he has to pay dearly under the law for being negligent while driving.

In US alone, there are thousands of cases fought every year on grounds of negligence where a person receives injuries at workplace and he holds either the owner or other persons responsible of negligence for his suffering.

In brief:

• Both carelessness and negligence are similar meaning terms but used in different contexts.

• Giving insufficient attention or being un thoughtful is labeled as carelessness or negligence.

• Thousands of cases of negligence and carelessness are fought every year in courts in the country where victims of accidents or insufficient attention during stay in hospitals claim compensation for their sufferings.