Determining Punitive Damages in a Potential Personal Injury Case
After an accident, you may consider pursuing economic damages, such as lost wages and medical bills. But there are a couple of other damages, including punitive damages that you should know about as well. If you are seeking out a personal injury claim, it is important to know the type of damages that can be awarded. Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are not always sought out by lawyers in a personal injury case, nor are they always awarded. If you live in San Antonio and are trying to determine whether or not to seek out punitive damages, call us at Carabin Shaw to talk to one of our San Antonio accident attorneys.Damages in a San Antonio Personal Injury Case
It is important to know the three different types of damages you can sue for. In Texas, these are the damages you can seek out:
- Economic damages - These damages account for any financial loss, medical bills, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages - Theses damages involve losses that cannot be assigned to a specific dollar amount. They include pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
- Punitive damages - These damages were created to be a punishment for the negligent party. A lawyer will help you seek out these damages if the negligent party’s actions were especially malicious.
Are you determining punitive damages in a potential personal injury case in San Antonio? We have the best San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Carabin Shaw, and we have years of experience aiding clients who want to seek out punitive damages.Understanding Punitive Damages
Unlike most personal injury claims that pursue economic and non-economic compensation from the negligent party, punitive damages are sought out when the injured party wants to punish the responsible party for the behavior that caused the injury. If the responsible party was careless or malicious, the injured person may be able to seek punitive damages. For example, if a person is injured by a drunk driver and suffered from major injuries, the injured party may qualify for punitive damages.
Ultimately, punitive damages are used to send a message to the person who acted recklessly. These damages will only be awarded if other damages are also awarded. Punitive damages are also often pursued in wrongful death matters.
In order to prove grossly negligent behavior, it must be proven that they demonstrated intentional disregard for another person’s safety. If there is no evidence that exposes intentional behavior, the injured party and/or their attorney may be subject to sanctions assigned by the court, which prevents frivolous lawsuits from being filed. However if the negligent party acted with any of the following, one of our San Antonio accident attorneys may be able to help you pursue punitive damages:
- Oppression - Actions that create hardships for the victim or take advantage of an unfair financial difference.
- Fraud - Trying to deceive the victim.
- Malice - Intentionally hurting someone or recklessly disregarding the safety of others.
Ultimately, the jury decides if you are granted punitive damages. Even if you qualify for punitive damages, it is still up to them to decide.
According to Texas law, punitive charges are capped at the greater of $200,000, or two times the economic damages plus your non-economic damages, up to $750,000. The cap does not apply if the act was a felony.
If you have questions about punitive damages, call Carabin Shaw to talk about your questions and concerns.Want one of the best San Antonio personal injury attorneys on your side? Call us today.
We know that determining punitive damages in a potential personal injury case can be difficult. If you need help with your San Antonio personal injury case, call us at 210-222-2288 to talk to one of our attorneys who have the experience and determination you need for a successful case.