Difference Between Negligence and Gross Negligence

Negligence vs Gross Negligence

Negligence is a concept in law that forms the backbone of most personal injury cases that are filed for compensation. This is because it is necessary to shift the blame on the carelessness, or in other words, negligence of another person for harm or injury to oneself. There is another concept of gross negligence that confuses many students of law because of the obvious overlap with negligence. However, despite similarities, there are differences between negligence and gross negligence that will be highlighted in this article.


Negligence is an important concept in law where it is considered ground enough to punish an individual. This is a conduct that reflects carelessness or lack of diligence and has the potential to cause harm or injury to another individual. This kind of harm is not intentional but is caused by the carelessness of the individual. Harm to one’s body, property, mental wellbeing, even prestige on account of negligence of another person is liable to be compensated through a court of law. Most often, negligence is applied in cases of personal injury or accidental injury.

Gross Negligence

Gross negligence is of course negligence but certainly a notch higher than ordinary negligence. Gross negligence is behavior that can be regarded as reckless and which disregards the safety of others. It is taken as a behavior that is more severe than simple negligence. Driving past the red signal may be taken as negligence but speeding past this sign and also driving under the influence of alcohol is liable to be considered gross negligence.

What is the difference between Negligence and Gross Negligence?

• Gross negligence is negligence of a serious nature.

• Gross negligence is seen as reckless behavior with a willful disregard for the safety of other human beings or property.

• Gross negligence can also be a disregard or indifference shown to rights of others.

• However, there is no universally accepted definition for gross negligence.

• Negligence is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care, whereas gross negligence is a complete disregard for the safety of others leading to harm or injury to the body or property of others.

• Gross negligence, if proved by the attorney in a personal injury case can bring in a higher amount of compensation for the victim than simple negligence.