If you are injured in a personal injury accident in Texas, you may be surprised to hear that there could be a cap on the amount of compensation you can recover. A damage cap limits the total amount of damages that plaintiffs (victims) can be awarded in some personal injury cases. These caps are set by legislators, usually on a state-by-state basis, to avoid excessive verdicts that aren’t based on reason. Texas does have caps in place for certain types of damages or cases.
Caps on Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Fortunately, the state of Texas does not impose a cap on economic and non-economic damages in most personal injury claims. That means there is no limit on medical costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, damage to property, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc. For example, if you suffer a serious injury resulting in $500,000 in medical expenses, you will recover compensation for those losses.
Non-economic damages that compensate victims for their physical and emotional suffering, can be difficult to put a price tag on. Many insurance companies and personal injury attorneys use a somewhat standardized method of calculating non-economic damages, known as the multiplier method. It takes the known economic damages and multiplies it by a number, typically between 1.5 and five. The multiplier will vary depending on the details of the case and severity of the injuries. If a claim makes it to court, the value of these damages will be subjectively evaluated and decided by a judge or jury.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims
The rules do change for Texas medical malpractice claims. Here are the damage caps imposed by the state:
- A healthcare facility cannot be sued for more than $500,000 total
- An individual doctor cannot be sued for more than $250,000 total
- Non-economic damages cannot exceed $750,000 in a medical malpractice claim
Caps on Punitive Damages
Plaintiffs are allowed by the state to recover punitive damages in cases involving gross negligence, malice, or fraud. Punitive damages are awarded with the intention to punish the defendant and warn against similar behavior by them and others in the future. Texas caps these damages at the large of:
- $200,000, or
- Twice the amount of economic damages, but no greater than $750,000.
The cap does not apply if the personal injury was a result of a felony.
Caps on Government Claims
Lastly, damages cannot exceed $100,000 in personal injury claims filed against the government. For example, if you are hit by a city bus, fall down some faulty stairs in a government building, or slip at the DMV, the amount of compensation you recover is limited by the state.
Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, contact the Milano Legal Group. Our highly skilled Houston Personal Injury Lawyer will ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation available under the law. Call (713) 489-4270 and schedule your free initial consultation today.