If you’ve recently been injured in an accident due to someone else's negligence, a personal injury lawyer Houston can help you recover compensation for your injuries. If the other party is found to have been malicious or grossly negligent, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. CityWide Injury's team of medical and legal professionals can help you determine the number of punitive damages you should expect to receive and assist you in gathering the evidence you need to secure a settlement.
What Are Punitive Damages?
The money you receive for your medical bills, pain, and suffering, lost wages, and other economic damages are known as "Compensatory Damages." Compensatory damages are meant to return you to the same financial status you were in before the negligent party injured you.
Punitive damages are established to punish the negligent party in an accident. The court sometimes awards punitive damages as a deterrent to reduce the incidences of the behavior that resulted in the award. Punitive damages are usually awarded when the negligent party is negligent or committed the act that caused the injury to the other party intentionally.
How Does the Court Determine Punitive Damages?
When deciding whether to award punitive damages, the court will examine the evidence to determine whether the negligent party's actions were intentional, malicious, or negligent. They may also compare your case to similar cases. The court will then consider multiple factors when determining whether punitive damages apply:
- The conduct of the negligent party
- How long and how often the conduct occurred
- The financial vulnerability of the victim
- Whether the damage was economic or physical
- How much damage occurred and how much could have occurred
- Whether the negligent party tried to hide their wrongful conduct
- The financial condition of the negligent party
How Much Money Can You Get for Punitive Damages?
In Texas, punitive damages max out at the greater of $200,000 or two times the economic damages, plus the same amount of non-economic damages, up to a maximum of $750,000. If a negligent party is a government entity, then you may be barred from collecting damages for personal liability. However, if they are not immune, punitive damages max out at $250,000 per person and $500,000 per event.
Punitive damages over the caps may sometimes be awarded when the court determines that the negligent party's actions are exceptionally reprehensible or the harm suffered by the victim warrants higher amounts. Punitive awards may also be higher when awards in similar cases have been higher. If the negligent party is exceptionally wealthy, higher amounts may be considered for the award's punitive nature to act as a sufficient deterrent. Your personal injury lawyer Houston can help you recover the maximum amount you are entitled to.
How Can CityWide Injury Help You Get Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are usually imposed by the court, which means that you must usually sue for damages in court to receive them. However, suppose the other party's attornies determine that punitive damages are likely to be awarded. In that case, they may consent to increase their out-of-court settlement offer to account for the money you would receive for punitive damages.
Your personal injury lawyer Houston TX, will evaluate your case to determine whether punitive damages may apply. If your attorney determines punitive damages are warranted, your attorney will help you negotiate with the other party. If a fair settlement can not be reached, your lawyer will help you present your case in court.
Because punitive damages are usually determined based on the number of compensatory damages awarded, it is important to receive prompt medical treatment. An accurate evaluation of your injuries and pain will be vital to determining the compensatory damages you are entitled to. CityWide Injury works with a team of accident doctors who can evaluate your injuries and provide treatment or refer you to other providers in our vast medical referral network. We can also refer you to a personal injury attorney Houston to assist you with your case.
Schedule a Consultation Today
The sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer Houston and receive an accident doctor's evaluation, the better your chance of recovering the damages you are entitled to. Call us at 713-782-0082 or make an appointment online.
How CityWide Injury Can Assist You With Punitive Damages | City Wide Injury & Accident – Houston, TX
Joe Danna is a Chiropractor specialist practicing in Houston, TX. Where he has lived his whole life.