Car accidents are devastating experiences that can leave Texas residents with serious injuries. When planning to file a personal injury claim, it’s important to know about the caps on damages recoverable in your case.
What damages can you recover in car accident injury claims?
You can recover economic and non-economic damages in a car accident personal injury claim. Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity and property damage while non-economic are things like pain and suffering. By law, you are permitted to recover compensation for all these damages if you were in a car accident that left you injured and unable to work for a period of time.
What are the damage caps in personal injury cases?
There are caps on the amount of compensation you can recover in personal injury cases stemming from car accidents involving government employees. If your accident was with someone employed by the state or a municipality, the damage cap for compensation is $250,000 and cannot exceed $500,000. For example, if a government employee T-bones your car while you’re traveling with two friends in your vehicle and you all suffer injuries, the total compensation recoverable would be $500,000, which would have to be split between the three of you. There are no caps on non-economic damages in these types of cases.
Texas follows fault laws and modified comparative negligence at 50%. This means that you are able to file a claim against the at-fault driver if you are injured, but only if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. For example, if you were injured after a speeding car hit your vehicle from behind when you suddenly stopped for no reason and were seeking $10,000 and are found to be 20% at fault, you would recover $8,000 if your claim is successful.
Depending on the circumstances, it’s sometimes possible to receive punitive damages in personal injury cases as well.