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Punitive Damages in Plano Car Accident Cases

In Texas, punitive damages are referred to as exemplary damages, which describes a punishment that may be used to make an example out of a defendant.  This could be used by the judge to discourage from committing that a similar infraction. Recovering these punitive damages in Plano car accident cases could prove to be difficult.

Punitive damages may be difficult to procure because it must be clearly proven that the defendant had knowledge that their actions may cause damages or injury. A car accident attorney may know a suitable way to help build a strong case. After facing what may have been a traumatic experience, contacting a compassionate car accident lawyer may be helpful to recover punitive damages.

Economic and Non-Economic Damage Claims in Texas

The state of Texas defines economic and non-economic damages as separate entities. There is a relationship between the two, but in Texas, the relationship is limited by law. Limits are imposed on punitive damages based on the type of damages the jury finds, both economic and non-economic.

Economic damage is defined as damages that can be calculated, such as medical bills and loss of earning. Other damages such as the pain of the plaintiff, impairment, and loss of loved ones are referred to as non-economic damages. In Texas, there are limits on what the jury could punish as punitive or exemplary damages, which depend upon the amounts of economic and non-economic elements lost.

Function of Judge and Jury in Car Crash Cases

The functions of the judge and jury are different, while the jury does the fact-finding, the judge turns the findings into a judgment that could be enforceable for money.

Even if the evidence supports punitive damages, Texas law may require the jury to consider evidence based on many factors, some of which include:

  • The net worth of the person who may have caused the accident
  • Level of risk
  • The severity of the accident

The Texas civil practice and remedies code has a specific list of evidence relating to the number of exemplary damages that the jury may consider. The lawyer may take that list in appropriate cases to develop evidence to make sure the evidence supports exemplary damages.

The judge may then apply Section 41.008 of the civil practice and remedies code to reduce the punitive damages in Plano car accident cases that may have been found by the jury.

Circumstances Leading to Punitive Damages in Plano Car Accident Cases

The plaintiff must show an extreme potential for an extreme degree of loss, and the knowledge that the defendant knew their actions were dangerous, such as blatant negligence. Both offenses could be found to be deliberate and could cause serious damage to person and property.

In cases where punitive damages are awarded, they are taxed differently from personal injury damages. Since damages from personal injury cases are not taxable as income, it is important to note that punitive damages could be taxed.

Punitive damage verdicts also have the ability to be appealed, which emphasize the importance of a driven car accident attorney that could fight for what you deserve. Contact a Plano car accident today to discuss potential punitive damages in Plano car accident cases and get what you deserve.

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