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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Understanding Damage Caps in Texas: A Practical Guide to Personal Injury Laws

Dealing with the complexities of a personal injury claim in Texas calls for understanding a key term: damage caps. These legal boundaries limit compensation for losses such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.


Distinct caps apply to categories such as economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages under Texas law. Notably, medical malpractice claims have a complex landscape affected by the tort reform act.


The complete picture can become blurred when examining gross negligence or determining the limits of personal injury lawsuits. However, an intriguing journey awaits in this article, where readers can unravel the nuances of personal injury law and its implications for potential recoveries. Victims should keep on reading to learn more! They can help answer questions like, "What is the burden of proof in a product liability case?"


What Are Damage Caps in Texas?

What Are Damage Caps in Texas?


A legal maze awaits in Texas when it comes to damage caps. The landscape of a personal injury case is dotted with economic and noneconomic damages, even punitive damages in certain situations.


Economic damages touch on tangible losses, such as medical bills or lost wages. On the other hand, non-economic damages explore intangible losses such as emotional distress. Damage caps in Texas pose a limit on these, but economic damages stand unrestricted.


Dealing with these can be incredibly challenging in medical malpractice cases, given the complexities and the person involved. Unraveling these legal threads can shed light on the journey to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.


Different Types of Damages in Texas Personal Injury Cases


When grappling with a personal injury case in Texas, understanding the recoverable types of damages and the legal caps that may limit these recoveries is pivotal.


Economic Damages

Economic damages in Texas are based on quantifiable losses incurred after an incident, such as:

  • Medical expenses: These include hospital visits, medical professionals' fees, medication, and any needed medical devices.

  • Lost wages: Income lost due to the inability to work during recovery.

  • Lost earning capacity: If the injury causes long-term disability impacting the victim's ability to earn in the future.

  • Property damage: When personal property, such as a vehicle, is damaged, the repair or replacement costs are considered economic damages in these cases.

Non-economic Damages

In contrast to economic impairments, noneconomic damages are not that easy to calculate as they relate to the intangible impacts of an injury. They include:

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

  • Loss of companionship

  • Loss of consortium

  • General inconvenience

Despite their subjective nature, they can significantly increase the value of a personal injury claim. However, certain caps apply to these damages in medical malpractice cases in Texas.


Punitive Damages

These damages are a deterrent imposed in cases where the defendant's actions were exceptionally reckless or negligent.


The statutes in Texas cap punitive damages at $200,000 or twice the amount of economic and up to $750,000 for non-economic damages. However, this cap doesn't apply in cases involving felonious acts.


Damage Caps in Texas Medical Malpractice Claims

In a medical malpractice claim, Texas law limits recoverable non-economic damages. A plaintiff can't claim more than $250,000 from individual healthcare providers and no more than $500,000 in total from all healthcare facilities involved. This means that the maximum non-economic damages victims can receive in a medical negligence case is $750,000.


Cases Against Government Entities in Texas

Legal cases against a government entity in Texas are subjected to damage caps. Moreover, for an injury caused by a state employee's negligence, the maximum compensation for each person involved is $250,000, not exceeding $500,000 for a single event. These caps are here to prevent frivolous lawsuits, but they are the subject of ongoing debate.


Controversy Surrounding Damage Caps

Texas damage caps, especially for non-economic damages in a medical negligence claim, are a controversial subject.


Those opposing these caps argue that they limit a plaintiff's ability to fully recover compensation for their losses. The debate continues, with personal injury damage caps playing a pivotal role in many legal cases in Texas.


Furthermore, the landscape of these legal cases in Texas is complex, including economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages, and varying damage caps. Understanding these aspects is crucial when dealing with a personal injury case or a medical malpractice lawsuit.


Recent Changes to Texas Personal Injury Compensation Laws


In the constantly evolving landscape of Texas personal injury law, the introduction of House Bill 1774 has significantly changed how compensation claims are handled. With this bill now in full effect, the scales seem tipped toward insurance providers:

  • The bill limits the circumstances in which victims can seek compensation from insurance companies, especially excluding damages caused by weather events or other so-called "acts of God."

  • A recent bill has significantly reduced insurance companies' penalties when sued. This legislation reduces their financial responsibility, including paying for the plaintiff's attorney fees or any additional punitive damages awarded by a jury.

  • The legislation shields insurance agents from personal lawsuits from policyholders, protecting agents from potential negative impacts such as a lowered credit score.

These changes in the law cast a shadow on victims' rights in these legal cases, seemingly favoring the rights of insurance entities over the victims' right to fair compensation.


The Attorney's Role in These Legal Complexities

The Attorney's Role in These Legal Complexities


Expert guidance is crucial in the complicated world of personal injury laws, especially with the advent of new legislation such as House Bill 1774.


Going through these legal nuances is no simple task. Moreover, understanding the legal terminology, rights, and limitations under the new law becomes overwhelming for individuals seeking compensation.


This is where an attorney can make a difference. Skilled personal injury attorneys dissect each case element, ensure that their clients understand the restrictions, and, most importantly, strive to secure the maximum compensation possible.


The Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys team, with its motto, "We Go to War for You," stands as a beacon of hope for the victims in Houston, Texas, dedicated to battling for the rights of all victims. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for more information one questions like, "Do you have to pay taxes on a personal injury settlement in Texas?"


Closing Thoughts


Navigating the labyrinth of personal injury laws isn't a task for the faint-hearted. It demands knowledge, grit, and resilience, particularly when newer laws complicate the landscape.


Engaging expert legal help is a strategic decision, not a luxury. Expert lawyers such as those at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys shine their legal acumen onto the darkest corners, illuminating the path for victims seeking rightful compensation.


Rooted in Houston, Texas, the law firm is committed to seeking justice for its clients and getting the work done in no time.


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