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Personal Injury Damage Caps in Texas

 Posted on April 16, 2018 in Personal Injury

If you were injured by somebody else's negligence in Dallas, Texas, you may be prepared to file a personal injury lawsuit. While you have every right to do so, you should know that Texas personal injury damage caps may affect the outcome of your case or your ability to file a claim at all. A damage cap limits the amount of money a person can win in a personal injury case, making some cases not worth fighting.

If you want to know if damage caps apply to your case, and if you want to know whether or not your personal injury claim is worth pursuing, call Clark Law Group for a case evaluation.

Claims Limited by Damage Caps

Not all personal injury claims are limited by damage caps in Texas, so before you assume the worst, know that caps may not apply to you. Those cases that are limited by damage caps include the following:

  • Medical malpractice cases;
  • Personal injury cases in which punitive damages are awarded; and
  • Personal injury cases filed against the government.

Personal injury claims that do not meet any of the above criteria are not subject to caps, which means the plaintiff can pursue any amount of damages he or she wants.

Caps on Medical Malpractice Cases

In 2003, Texas passed the Medical Malpractice Tort Reform Act that limited the amount of money a person could receive in non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case. Now, a person can sue for the total amount of economic damages, which may include medical expenses, lost earnings, future lost wages, and other quantifiable costs, but they can only recover up to $750,000 in non-economic damages total, and only $250,000 per healthcare facility involved. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

In medical malpractice wrongful death cases, the cap is even less. A family may only recover $500,000 total, for both economic and non-economic damages.

Caps on Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are those awarded to a victim as a punishment for the defendant's grossly negligent behavior. The goal of punitive damages is to encourage the defendant to act more carefully in the future. In Texas, punitive damages are not awarded unless specifically requested by the plaintiff and his or her attorney. Punitive damages may not exceed more than two times the amount of economic damages plus the amount equal to non-economic damages not to exceed $750,000 or $200,000, whichever is greater.

Caps on Claims Against the Government

Suing the government is difficult in general, but if you do manage to have a claim heard, expect there to be a cap on how much you can win. State and municipality government entities and emergency service organizations (police, EMTs, etc.) may only be sued for $250,000 per person injured and only up to $500,000 per incident. This means that if three people were injured by a government body in a single occurrence, those three people would be forced to split the $500,000 three ways.

If the case involves a government entity other than the state, municipality, or emergency organization, the caps are even lower. For instance, the federal government may only be sued for $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident.

Contact a Lawyer Regarding Your Case Today

If you were injured as a result of someone else's negligent actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to the lawyers at Clark Law Group to discuss your rights and options for recovery today.

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