You can recover compensation for many types of damages after a car accident in Texas. Punitive damages, or those meant to punish the wrongdoer, are one of those types of damages. To determine whether or not you can recover punitive damages, you should speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at Begum Law Group. We have worked with thousands of car accident victims to get them the maximum amount of compensation possible.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are not meant to compensate you for losses. Instead, they punish the wrongdoer for gross negligence or malice.
Punitive damages are different than economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages compensate you for monetary losses like medical costs and lost wages. Noneconomic damages compensate you for losses that cannot be easily quantified by money like pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are not compensatory. They do not make up for any losses that you have suffered. They simply punish the at fault driver or make an example of their poor behavior.
When Can I Get Punitive Damages in a Car Accident Case?
Punitive damages are reserved for particularly bad behavior that is classified as gross negligence or malice. It often includes actions that are purposeful or done with intent.
Some examples of situations that might warrant punitive damages include:
- Drunk driving accidents
- Drugged driving accidents
- Crashes caused by road rage
There are other situations when punitive damages may be awarded on a case by case basis as determined by the court. You should consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine if your case is eligible for punitive damages.
How Much Can I Get In Punitive Damages?
Texas limits punitive damages in personal injury cases with a damage cap. The cap for punitive damages is $200,000 or twice the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages (up to $750,000), whichever is greater.
This limit is supposed to promote fairness. Punitive damages often allow plaintiffs to obtain a great amount of money in personal injury cases that does not compensate them for losses. Caps seek to prevent exorbitant damages for wrongful acts.
Damage caps also help make the legal system more predictable. Although every personal injury case is different and they are all valued differently, the court system tries to place limits on certain recoveries to promote consistency.
Contact Begum Law Group to Find Out If You Can Get Punitive Damages
Determining how much your case is worth can be complex, let alone valuing punitive damages. However, The Texas Law Giant has experience helping clients get all types of damages. We will evaluate your case and help you get the most money possible.