What Are Punitive Damages in Texas?

When you suffer a serious injury, you’ll often be able to negotiate a settlement that corresponds with your losses and needs. Sometimes, though, you’ll be hurt in such a way that a settlement isn’t the way to proceed and you’ll have to take the offending party to court.

Winning in court is often harder than negotiating a decent settlement, and you may need a personal injury lawyer to succeed. Our team at the Colley Firm, PC isn’t timid when fighting for what’s right for our clients, especially when you’ve been egregiously wronged and the at-fault party deserves punishment through compensatory justice.

We’re here to help you understand punitive damages in Texas and how they might affect your pursuit of personal injury compensation.

When Can Punitive Damages Be Awarded?

Punitive damages can be awarded to you not in an effort to reimburse you for your economic and non-economic damages, but to punish the at-fault party for accidents involving one of three things:

  • Fraud
  • Malice
  • Gross negligence

Proof and Punitive Considerations

We’ll have to prove that the at-fault party caused the accident knowing what he or she was doing or not doing, and the court must agree on the amount the party has to pay out. Because punitive damages are designed to punish, not compensate, it’s also important for the jury to consider the following:

  • Nature of the wrong
  • Character of the conduct involved
  • Degree of culpability of the wrongdoer
  • Situation and sensibilities of the parties concerned
  • Extent to which such conduct offends a public sense of justice and propriety
  • Net worth of the defendant

This includes the potential harm to future victims if the defendant isn’t punished, in addition to the harm you suffered.

Limitations

There are, however, limits on how much you can receive in punitive damages. In Texas, the limits are whichever is greatest between the following:

  • Twice your economic damages, plus an amount equal to your awarded non-economic damages, not to exceed $750,000
  • $200,000

Reach Out to the Colley Firm, PC

Find your Texas personal injury lawyer at the Colley Firm, PC and schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation by filling out the form below or calling us at 1-877-411-2001. If appropriate, we’ll help you pursue punitive damages in order to make you whole again after your injury.