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Punitive Damages in a Personal Injury case in Houston Texas

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Punitive damages are damages awarded in a civil trial to punish a defendant for gross negligence or severe misconduct. They are also called exemplary damages.

Although punitive damages are not to compensate the plaintiff, they are paid to the plaintiff in court, making their financial recovery significantly smoother. In Texas, exemplary damages are defined and regulated by Chapter 41 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code:

(5) “Exemplary damages” means any damages awarded as a penalty or punishment but not for compensatory purposes. Exemplary damages are neither economic nor noneconomic damages. “Exemplary damages” includes punitive damages.

(11) “Gross negligence” means an act or omission:

(A) which, when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the actor at the time of its occurrence, involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others; and

(B) of which the actor has actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved but proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.

(12) “Noneconomic damages” means damages awarded to compensate a claimant for physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of companionship and society, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages.

The statute sets forth the evidence jurors must consider when deciding the amount of punitive damages. The evidence jurors must consider includes:

(1) The nature of the wrong
(2) The character of the defendant’s conduct
(3) The degree of the culpability of the defendant
(4) The sensibilities and situation of the parties involved
(5) The extent to which the conduct offends a public sense of decency and justice
(6) The net worth of the defendant

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The plaintiff can demand evidence from the defendant regarding his net worth. However, the defendant can ask the court to limit discovery related to net worth until the plaintiff has demonstrated that the plaintiff has a substantial likelihood of proving the case for punitive damages.

Nobody should be left to deal with medical bills and emotional trauma after an accident that was not their fault. When somebody else acts negligently, and it causes you physical and emotional damage, you deserve to seek compensation from the at-fault party. In the aftermath of a serious accident, you should be able to focus on your recovery. By obtaining the representation of a personal injury law firm, you can rest a little easier. They will ensure that your compensation claim moves forward while you have the space to breathe. Under Houston Texas law, if the negligent behavior of somebody else caused your damages, they may be found liable for your damages.

Click HERE if you have a Claim in Houston Texas for Personal Injury

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Houston, TX 77024

Texas has caps to limit the maximum amount plaintiffs may receive in noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. This cap is stipulated in the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act of 2003, also known as House Bill 4 (“HB4”).

Punitive damages are capped at the greater of $200,000 or two times the amount of economic damages PLUS the amount equal to noneconomic damages up to $750,000.

Let’s say you sue in a misinformation case where you suffered damages as a result of and spread of misinformation involving gross negligence. You are awarded $2 million for your economic losses and $1.5 million for your noneconomic losses. The total amount possible for punitive damages is $4,750,000 (two times $2 million, plus the $750,000). A case in point is TV, and Social Media personality Alex Jones, who was recently ordered to pay punitive damages to the parents of a 6-year-old boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre $45.2 million in punitive damages – on top of $4.1 million in compensatory damages already awarded – for falsely claiming the shooting was a hoax, a Texas jury decided.

Jury orders Alex Jones to pay $45.2M in additional punitive damages. You can read the story on Reuters. Click the link.

A case involving punitive damages can be complicated. Proving the legal elements with clear and convincing evidence is a daunting task. If you believe your case involves punitive damages, it is best to talk with a seasoned lawyer who handles cases involving these matters. Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, can help you navigate this issue and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to speak to someone about your particular situation or for a free and confidential consultation, call our office at (713) 366-HURT (4878) today or visit us online at Se habla español.

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