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What Are Punitive Damages?

What Are Punitive Damages?

Individuals can file personal injury claims after suffering injuries in an accident caused by another person’s negligence. In many cases, personal injury claims can be filed after sustaining injuries in a car accident, workplace accident, product defect-related accidents, and more. Filing a personal injury claim allows those injured to seek compensation for their damages – including lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. What many people don’t know is that they can also be awarded punitive damages.

Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Punitive damages are damages awarded to punish a person or party for the injuries caused by malice or gross negligence. For example, suppose you were injured at your place of work in a slip and fall accident due to a poor staircase structure. You and your fellow coworkers had already brought the poor and unsafe staircase structure to your employer, but they failed to take action, and you were injured as a result of their carelessness. In this scenario, if the court sees fit, they can award your punitive damages to punish your employer for failing to take action in a timely manner. The goal of awarding punitive damages is to motivate the parties responsible for the accident to prevent doing the same negligent acts in the future.

In Texas, punitive damages are capped at the larger of:

  • $200,000

  • Or two times the number of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages (maximum of $750,000).

Will I Receive Punitive Damages if I File a Personal Injury Claim?

The best way to determine if you might receive punitive damages is by speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. The judge will ultimately determine if you should be awarded punitive damages, but an attorney can analyze your case to determine if it's a possible outcome. Seeking compensation after suffering injuries in an accident is a complicated process. The parties responsible will typically always find a way to limit their liability and pay you the least amount possible. Our team at Daspit Law Firm can help you so that you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Texas personal injury attorneys today at (888) 273-1045 to schedule a consultation!