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Does Texas Have Personal Injury Damage Caps?

Sustaining an injury caused by the actions of someone else can lead to devastating financial consequences. Personal injury victims are often able to recover compensation through an insurance settlement or as a result of a Houston personal injury lawsuit filed against another party. In these cases, the compensation is designed to make the injury victim “whole.” However, there are limitations on certain types of damages in Texas.

What is a “Damage Cap” in Texas?

The term “damage cap” is just another way to say “damage limitation.” Each state across the country sets its own separate limitations for specific damages related to injury lawsuits. Typically, states do not have caps in place for most economic and non-economic damages. However, Texas does place limitations on non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims as well as limitations for punitive damages and claims against government entities in Texas.

Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages

Examining House Bill 4, we can see that there is a damage cap placed on non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims in Texas. Under the law, individuals can only receive $250,000 from healthcare providers for any non-economic damages associated with their claim.

Additionally, the law does allow medical malpractice victims to receive up to $250,000 from each healthcare facility or hospital related to the claim. This means individuals could, in theory, receive up to $500,000 in non-economic damages, depending on the factors related to their particular claim. However, the overall maximum a person can receive for medical malpractice noneconomic damages is $750,000, regardless of the number of facilities involved.

There is no damage cap placed on medical malpractice economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and various other calculable damages.

Caps on Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are available in rare circumstances for an injury claim, only in cases where the conduct of the defendant is particularly egregious. These damages are meant to act as a punishment and as a deterrent to others. In Texas, punitive damages are limited to either $200,000 or two times the total amount of economic damages related to the claim, whichever figure is larger.

For example, if a person is awarded $150,000 in economic damages for their injury claim, they could potentially receive up to $300,000 in punitive damages if their case warrants such damages.

Limitations on Lawsuits Against Government Agencies in Texas

Another limitation individuals should be aware of revolves around claims against government entities in Texas. In the event an individual sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of a government entity or employee, they may be able to recover compensation, but the processes for claims against government entities is different.

Overall, compensation for claims against a government is limited. Damages are capped at $250,000 per individual and $500,000 per incident.

If you have sustained an injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity in the state of Texas, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney quickly. A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through this process by helping to adequately calculate your total losses. If you have any questions about limitations in place for your particular claim, your attorney can answer your questions during a free consultation of your case.

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