The vast majority of personal injury cases are based on Texas negligence laws. In simple terms, negligence is an action or inaction that differs from how a reasonable person would behave. When negligent behavior leads to an injury, the victim may be eligible for damages.
For example, if someone watches a video on their phone while driving and causes an accident, then this is clearly a negligent act. A reasonable person would not watch a video on their phone while driving.
While this may sound straightforward, each state has its own negligence laws, and it is important to have a firm grasp of the law and experience navigating personal injury claims in order to secure just and fair compensation.
Although every state utilizes some form of the five elements of negligence which are duty, breach, cause in fact, proximate cause, and actual harm, various state laws impact how this plays out in practice. For example, Texas operates under a comparative fault system which means that more than one party can be found to be at fault for an accident, and this can have a dramatic effect on the result of personal injury claims.
We are proud to be spearheaded by Chris Morrow, an experienced trial lawyer for personal injury victims. He is dedicated to helping victims secure just and fair compensation and has a stellar reputation.
When you secure representation from Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, you send a message to insurance defense lawyers that you will not accept less than what you deserve. A personal injury attorney will be assigned to your case and will be personally available by phone or email so that you feel supported and guided throughout your case.
Thanks to our dedication to personal injury in Texas since 1994, all of our experiences, skills, and resources go toward helping people like you secure the compensation they deserve.
We believe that all victims deserve access to high-quality legal representation. That is why we offer a free consultation, and work on a no-win no, fee basis.
Call us today at 512-520-8100.
In a personal injury claim, the burden of proof lies on the defendant, meaning that in order to recover compensation, the injured party and their attorney have to prove that someone else’s negligent behavior caused their damages.
In order to establish negligence, five elements must be proven, they are:
The first element is the duty of care; the defendant owes a legal duty to behave or not behave in some way toward the injured party.
For example, all road users owe a duty of care to other people on the road to obey traffic laws and act in a reasonable way to keep those around them safe. Similarly, companies owe a duty of care to their employees to take reasonable measures to protect their safety and well-being.
The second element is a breach of duty, the defendant must have failed to exercise reasonable care, and they breached their duty to the injured party.
For example, the defendant breached his or her duty by speeding over the limit or running a red light. Or an employer may have breached their duty by failing to provide adequate protective clothing.
The third element is cause in fact, which means that the defendant’s breach must have been the actual cause of the injuries in question. This means that the plaintiff would not have sustained the injuries they are claiming for if it were not for the action or inaction of the at-fault party.
The fourth element is proximate cause, which means that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have known that their actions could lead to injuries.
For example, a reasonable person understands that breaking the rules of the road could lead to an accident. Or an employer should reasonably understand that failing to provide adequate protective clothing puts their employee at a higher risk of suffering an injury.
Finally, the fifth element is damages suffered, which demands that the actions of the at-fault party led to actual damages. This means that the actions of the defendant caused injuries to the plaintiff that led to compensable losses such as medical bills and lost wages.
Texas operates under modified comparative negligence, which means that even if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, you may still have a valid claim for compensation.
For example, if you were in a car accident and the defendant failed to exercise due care by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but you were speeding, then you both may have contributed to the cause of the accident.
Some states operate under pure contributory negligence, which entitles parties to compensation regardless of their percentage of fault. So if the defendant’s negligence was considered to contribute to 85% of the cause of the accident, the plaintiff could still claim 15% of their damages.
However, Texas operates under modified comparative negligence, which means that plaintiffs may only claim compensation if they are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident.
If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident that led to your damages, then your settlement will be reduced by the percentage to which you were at fault.
For example, if you are awarded $200,000 in damages but were found to be 10% at fault for the accident, then your settlement will be reduced by 10%, and you will be awarded $180,000. However, if you are found to be 50% at fault or more, then you will not receive anything.
It is common for insurance defense lawyers to fight to assign fault to victims and, therefore, reduce the amount they are required to pay. That is one of the reasons why it is important to have the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight to establish the true cause of the accident and ensure that you are not unjustifiably assigned fault.
The best way to ensure you have a strong case for compensation is to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will undergo a comprehensive investigation and gather as much evidence as possible to establish the facts of your case. Key pieces of evidence may include:
If your personal injury claim is successful, then you should be able to claim compensation for all of your economic and non-economic damages.
Some damages are relatively straightforward, such as medical expenses that you have already incurred and have clear evidence for. However, other damages, such as your future medical expenses and damages related to your emotional pain and suffering, are a little more tricky. A Texas personal injury attorney will understand how to evidence your claims so that they are difficult to argue with.
Damages that may be considered in your settlement include:
Medical bills in the United States are notoriously high, and following a serious injury, even the most comprehensive coverage may be insufficient.
In a successful personal injury claim, you should be reimbursed for all of your medical expenses, including hospital bills, physiotherapy costs, medication costs, transport to and from the hospital, and more.
It is also important that your future medical costs are considered, or you could still end up out of pocket. Your attorney may draw upon expert testimony to establish what your future medical expenses will be.
Pain and suffering damages may be available to compensate you for your emotional suffering. When you are injured due to the negligent actions of another person, it is often incredibly traumatic. In addition, physical injuries often lead to pain and life-limiting consequences, such as an inability to continue with the same hobbies as you did before.
Pain and suffering damages can be highly contentious, but a skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to evidence your experiences so that you are properly compensated.
Following a serious injury, you may need to take time away from work, leading to a loss in wages. All lost wages should be reimbursed to you in a successful personal injury claim, as well as the future loss of wages if your injuries are likely to prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity.
Most personal injury claims are based on negligence, including car accident claims and slip and fall accidents. However, not every successful personal injury claim is based on negligence.
For example, most product liability claims are founded on strict liability, which means that victims of defective or dangerous products may be eligible to claim compensation without having to prove that anyone behaved negligently.
Establishing negligence can be a long and complex process. Although you are well within your rights to pursue a claim without representation, it is not recommended.
The reason is that you will be up against large insurance companies and their legal teams, whose sole job is to limit the amount of money they have to pay out to you. They may do this by limiting their own liability through the comparative negligence law or questioning your damages.
When you hire experienced representation, you level the playing field. It is also important that your attorney is experienced in the courtroom. Insurance defense lawyers know which attorneys will take them to court and which will not. When you have a skilled attorney by your side, they are more likely to offer a fair settlement rather than have to deal with court fees.
For most people considering tackling a personal injury claim alone, it is because of concern over what representation could cost them. However, at Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we work on a no-win no-fee basis, so you can never be left out of pocket. We only get paid if you are successful and as a percentage of your settlement. Thanks to the skills, resources, and experience that a personal injury attorney offers, most people with representation end up with a higher amount of compensation, even after legal fees are considered.
It is also important to be aware that personal injury claims can take a long time to settle, often over a year. When you try to make a claim alone, it can be incredibly stressful. When you have representation from our law firm, we will take over the entire process, including the investigation and negotiations with insurance companies. That means that you can focus on what’s important – your recovery.
Every car accident claim is unique and how long your case takes depends on many factors, such as how willing the other party is to settle, the complexity of liability, the severity of your injuries, and the quality of your representation. Simple cases could be over in a matter of months, while overs could take over a year to settle.
Without an in-depth consultation, it is impossible to say whether you have a valid claim for compensation. In a free case evaluation, your attorney will be able to advise you on whether your case is worth pursuing so you can make an informed decision regarding your next steps. However, if you have already been offered a settlement, then it is likely you have a valid claim.
If the person who was at fault for your car accident was uninsured, then seeking the compensation you deserve could be difficult. Your own insurance policy may have uninsured motorist coverage; if so, this could be the best avenue for compensation. Either way, a car accident attorney can help you explore your options.
If you had an injury before the car accident, then you still have a right to compensation and should not be deterred. However, it can be difficult to establish your damages as you will need to show what damages were a direct result of the accident and which will not. These types of cases require the investigation of an experienced attorney who can help you evidence your claims.
Comparative fault allows people who suffered injuries in a car accident to recover compensation for their damages, even if their own negligence contributed to the accident. However, the amount that they receive will be reduced to reflect their percentage of fault.
For example, if the other driver was driving under the influence and driving erratically, but you were speeding, then you could be found to be 15% at fault for the accident. If your claim is worth $100,000, your settlement would be reduced by 15%, and you would receive $85,000.
Comparative negligence laws are complex and differ between states. The best way to protect your right to compensation is to seek the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.
At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we are proud to offer compassionate and comprehensive support to personal injury victims in Texas. We work on a no-win, no-fee basis and offer a free consultation so that anyone who has suffered a car accident can seek legal advice.
Once you agree to representation, we will investigate your case, calculate your damages, and negotiate a fair settlement. With our help, you can focus on your own health and well-being with confidence that your case is in safe hands.
Call us at 512-729-1972 for a free consultation.
When a car accident involves more than one at-fault party, then it is important to establish each individual’s degree of fault and whether their compensation should be reduced.
There are three main types of rules that are used to deal with shared fault:
Under Texas’s modified comparative fault rules, you can claim compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, if you are determined to be more than 50% at fault, you will not be able to claim anything. This is known as a 51% bar.
In order to establish fault after a car accident, your attorney will look to establish that the other party behaved negligently. If you also behaved negligently, then it could be necessary to determine the percentage to which your negligence contributed to the crash.
In order to establish negligence in Texas, five elements must be proven, they are:
First, it is necessary to prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care, which is a legal duty to behave or not behave in some way. In car accident claims, this is relatively straightforward. All road users owe a duty of care to others on the road and must behave in a reasonable way to protect those around them.
Next, it is necessary to establish that the at-fault party breached their duty by failing to exercise reasonable care. For example, driving under the influence, speeding, or running a red light is a breach of the duty of care.
Cause in fact means that the at-fault party must have been the actual cause of the injuries that the plaintiff is claiming.
Proximate cause means that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have been aware that their actions could cause injuries. For example, a reasonable person knows that they should not drive their car intoxicated because it increases their risk of causing an accident.
The last element of negligence is that the actions of the defendant must have caused compensable losses, known as damages. Damages could include medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering.
Sometimes establishing that one party is at fault is easy, such as in rear-end accidents or DUI car accidents. However, proving negligence is often much more complex. Types of car accidents that commonly involve more than one at-fault party include:
Following a car accident where liability is straightforward, you will likely claim compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. However, when multiple parties share liability it is often more complex. While you may be able to claim compensation from multiple people, insurance companies may try to use comparative fault to reduce the amount they are required to pay.
In a multi-car accident, each insurance company will have a different choice when it comes to assigning the level of fault they believe should be applied to each party. They will likely try to reduce the amount that they owe you by exaggerating the degree to which you or another party was at fault.
Insurance companies are big businesses that are driven by profit; they will try to exploit ways to reduce the amount they are required to pay out, even if that means leaving victims with less than they deserve. Your car accident attorney will be your advocate and will fight against insurance companies and their legal teams so that you have the best chance at a fair outcome.
In addition, cases that involve multiple parties are more likely to go to court and be decided by a Judge and jury. If this happens, your attorney will be prepared to present evidence to support your case.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas, you can still claim compensation for your damages if you were less than 50% at fault for the accident.
These laws can be a lifeline for many victims whose damages can quickly exceed the limits of their insurance policy. Medical bills are notoriously high in the United States and when paired with lost wages and property damage, the financial consequences of a car accident can be difficult to deal with without compensation.
A car accident lawyer will establish the value of your damages so that they can negotiate a fair settlement. The damages involved in your case may include the following:
When calculating what you are owed in medical expenses, all expenses related to your medical care should be considered, including hospital bills, prescription costs, physiotherapy, and more.
If you have suffered ongoing injuries, then it is also important that your future medical expenses are considered. It can be difficult to establish your future costs, but your attorney will draw upon expert testimony so that you have strong evidence to support your case.
If your injuries resulted in time away from work, you have probably had to contend with lost income on top of mounting medical bills. This can be incredibly frustrating. However, your lost wages should be reflected in your settlement.
If your injuries are likely to prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity as before your accident, you should also be compensated for the loss of earning potential.
Your vehicle was likely to have been damaged if you were in a car accident, and you should be owed compensation to cover the repair or replacement of your vehicle. If you had any other possessions that were damaged in the accident, such as a phone or laptop, then these should also be considered.
Car accidents are traumatic for those involved and can leave victims with mental scars as well as physical ones. Physical injuries also often lead to a lot of emotional distress. The disruption to your life can be incredibly difficult, especially if you are left unable to participate in hobbies you once enjoyed, such as yoga or running.
You deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering. Although these types of damages can be highly contentious, when you have experienced representation, they could make up the largest percentage of your settlement.
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted with malicious intent or gross negligence. They are designed to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future, as opposed to compensatory damages such as medical expenses which are designed to compensate the victim.
Punitive damages can only be awarded by a Judge, and so they are only awarded in cases that are settled in court.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident in Texas and they were partially at fault for the accident, then you may still be able to claim compensation. The same comparative negligence rules apply, and as long as they were less than 50% at fault, you may still have a valid claim.
Losing a loved one is incredibly emotional, and no amount of compensation can begin to heal your grief. However, compensation can ensure that you do not suffer financially as a result.
In Texas, the spouse, children, or parents of a deceased person may be eligible to claim compensation in a wrongful death claim.
Most car accident claims settle outside of court. If you were partially to blame for an accident that settles outside of court, then the insurance adjuster will keep modified comparative negligence laws in mind when negotiating your settlement.
If your case does go to court, then a Judge or a jury may determine the percentage of fault for each party.
Court cases are expensive and time-consuming, and it is usually in both parties best interests to avoid them. However, cases that involve more than one liable party are more complex and have a higher probability of being settled in court.
It is important that you have representation from a lawyer who is prepared to take your case to court, otherwise, you could be left vulnerable. Insurance companies know which lawyers are capable litigators and which are not and this can have a big impact on their willingness to offer you a fair settlement, rather than risk losing more in the courtroom.
At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, our attorneys are experienced litigators and will always be prepared to take a case to court if necessary to achieve a fair outcome. However, we will also push for a quick and fair settlement where possible. We will keep you informed at every stage and allow you to make decisions that direct your case.
Yes. The best way to determine if you could be owed compensation is to contact a personal injury law firm for a freeCan I claim compensation even if I contributed to an accident in Texas?consultation. At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we will review your case and advise you on your next steps.
It is common for insurance companies to use underhanded tactics to reduce their liability, such as getting you to admit fault in some way. Fortunately, once you have representation, they should not speak to you at all, and all correspondence should go through your attorney. Therefore, if they contact you, simply tell them that your attorney will be in touch.
The first settlement offer and any quick-fire settlement offers should be treated with caution. The other insurance company will often know their party is liable and use tactics like this to lower their eventual payout. They will come to you with a quick-fire offer that is a lot lower than they expect they will have to pay out.
They play on the fact that it may seem like a large amount of money to you in your current situation.
You should always discuss any settlement offer with your attorney, as once you accept it, you forgo the chance to seek any more compensation after that point.
With the number of variables and complexity of personal injury cases, the amount of time your case will take to complete will depend upon a number of things.
In cases where the liability is clear, the other party may decide to take the loss and pay your settlement out of court. They could, however, decide to fight in the hopes of avoiding a payout.
Simple cases that settle out of court could be over in under a year, but complex cases can take several years to finish.
Under Texas law, if you are partially at fault for a car accident, you may still claim compensation. This is because Texas operates under a modified comparative fault system, which means that so long as you were less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still claim compensation. However, your settlement could be reduced to reflect your percentage of liability.
Cases that involve multiple liable parties are complex, and it is common for insurance companies to exaggerate the part you played in the accident in order to reduce the amount they have to pay. The best way to prove fault and protect your right to recover damages is to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible.
At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC we take pride in providing caring and comprehensive assistance to injured victims in Texas. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not pay unless we win your case. We also offer a free consultation to anyone who has been involved in a car accident and needs legal advice.
After you decide to work with a personal injury lawyer from our firm, we will investigate your case, determine the extent of your damages, and try to negotiate a just settlement. By relying on us for your car accident case, you can concentrate on your own health and well-being, secure in the knowledge that your case is being handled by the right people.
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that you can claim compensation even if you were partially responsible for an accident. However, Texas also has a rule known as the ‘51% bar’. So, if you are over 50% at fault for an accident, you cannot recover any compensation.
For example, if one party was driving over the speed limit, and a drunk driver recklessly pulled into their lane without looking for oncoming traffic, both drivers could share liability. However, in this instance, the drunk driver could be considered 80% at fault for the accident, and the speeding driver 20% at fault.
Although the driver who was speeding broke the rules of the road, they were not the main reason that the accident occurred, so they could still recover compensation. If they are awarded $100,000 in damages, then their settlement could be reduced by 20% to reflect their liability, and they would receive $80,000. However, because the drunk driver was over 50% at fault for the accident, they cannot recover any damages.
Texas is an at-fault state, so the person who is found to be at fault for the auto accident is also liable for any damages. This is in contrast to a no-fault state in which each party must first seek compensation from their own car insurance carrier, regardless of fault.
Establishing that the other driver was at fault in Texas involves proving that they acted negligently and that their negligence caused the accident that directly led to your damages. Negligence laws vary between states, and in Texas, there are five elements that must be proven to recover compensation:
If you are partially at fault for a car accident (but less than 50%), it is likely that you will still claim compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. If there are multiple at-fault parties, then you may need to claim compensation from multiple sources.
Dealing with insurance companies is never easy, and when there are multiple insurance companies involved, it becomes even more complex. Each insurance company could assign different levels of fault to each party and they may try to reduce what they owe you by exaggerating your percentage of fault.
Insurance companies are profit-driven corporations that will look for any advantage they have that could save them money. That is one reason it is so important to have the help of an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and protect your right to fair compensation.
The majority of car accident claims are negotiated between insurance companies and attorneys, which means they settle outside of court. This is usually in the best interest of everyone, as it saves time and money on court proceedings. However, cases that involve proportionate responsibility are more likely to go to court.
When this happens, the Judge or jury will determine each party’s percentage of fault and how much compensation you are owed. Your attorney from Chris Morrow Law, PLLC will be prepared to present your case in court. Our attorneys have extensive trial experience and know what it takes to secure a favorable outcome for our clients.
If you are partially at fault for a car accident, your settlement could be reduced to reflect your degree of fault. Therefore, it is essential that you maximize the amount of compensation you could receive by clearly evidencing your damages.
Your damages are your compensable losses that make up your settlement. One of the important roles of your attorney is to calculate and evidence your damages so that you know what a good settlement looks like in your case.
Pain and suffering is the legal term used for your non-economic damages after car accidents. Following a car accident, you may have suffered emotionally as well as physically. Besides the physical pain, you may be left with emotional trauma from the accident itself and the injuries you have suffered. Your injuries may have also lowered your quality of life and you may be left unable to continue with hobbies that you once enjoyed.
You have a right to receive just compensation for your pain and suffering, and when you do, these damages often make up the largest percentage of your settlement. However, non-economic damages are highly contentious and require the help of a skilled lawyer who can fight for a favorable outcome.
Medical bills are notoriously high in the United States, and they can quickly exceed policy limits after a serious car accident. A successful settlement should cover all medical bills and expenses and you should keep a thorough record to be used as evidence.
In addition, if you require ongoing treatment for your injuries, then your future medical costs should also be included. Future expenses are more difficult to evidence, and your attorney may secure expert testimony to ensure that you have a strong case.
You should also keep a record of any other expenses relating to the accident, including the cost of repairing or replacing your property that was damaged in the accident. This could include vehicle repair or replacement.
If your injuries prevented you from working and you suffered lost income as a result, then this should also be included in your settlement. If your injuries are likely to prevent you from working in the same capacity, then you should also be compensated for future loss of earning capacity.
When determining what you are owed in lost earning capacity, your work experience, age, and education will all be considered.
Punitive damages are not always available to victims because they can only be awarded by a Judge in cases that go to court. These damages act as a punishment or a deterrent. They are reserved for cases where the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or malicious intent.
Losing a loved one in a car accident is incredibly difficult. No amount of money can heal your grief. However, it can ensure that you are not left in financial hardship as a result. The same modified comparative fault laws apply to wrongful death claims. So, as long as your loved one was less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still make a claim.
If you have lost a spouse, child, or parent in a car accident in Texas, then you should contact Chris Morrow Law, PLLC for a free consultation. We understand the dedication and compassion these cases require and will handle the entire legal process so that you can focus on your family.
Compensatory damages, also known as actual damages, are intended to compensate personal injury victims for their losses and nothing more.
Compensatory damages can be further divided into two types: actual and general.
In order to be awarded actual compensatory damages, a clear monetary value must be attached to them. Evidence such as hospital bills and receipts will be required to claim, and so you should keep clear documentation of all the costs relating to your injuries.
Compensatory damages involving actual monetary expenditure include:
On the other hand, general compensatory damages include estimates of losses rather than actual monetary expenditure. Examples include emotional distress and future medical costs.
General compensatory damages include:
When determining what your losses suffered equate to, it is essential that your future expenses related to your injury are considered. If the monetary amount of compensation only accounts for your past medical bills and lost wages, then you could still end up out of pocket.
A personal injury attorney may need to draw upon expert testimony to determine what the ongoing costs of your medical care will be. Additionally, if your injuries are likely to prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity, then your attorney will fight for you to be compensated for a lifetime of lost earning potential.
Pain and suffering is the term used to describe emotional suffering after an accident. That could include the emotional trauma from the accident itself or the effect the injuries are having on your physical and emotional well-being.
Pain and suffering damages can be difficult to prove, and the best way to ensure that you are fairly compensated is to enlist the help of a skilled personal injury attorney.
When you have strong representation, your pain and suffering damages are likely to make up a large portion of your settlement. One common way of determining the value of your pain and suffering is to use a multiplier method. The multiplier method takes into account your actual compensatory damages and applies a multiplier between 1 and 5 depending on the severity of your suffering.
For example, if you have suffered broken bones that have prevented you from participating in hobbies you once enjoyed, but you are likely to make a full recovery in the near future, then a multiplier of two could be justified. However, if you are unlikely to ever fully recover from your injuries and they limit your life in some way, then a multiplier of up to five could be used to establish the value of your pain and suffering damages.
While compensatory damages are in place to compensate personal injury victims for their actual losses, punitive damages or exemplary damages may compensate above any loss suffered.
Punitive damage awards are only awarded in personal injury cases that go to court, as they can only be awarded by a Judge. They are reserved for cases where the Judge is looking to punish the defendant for reckless or malicious behavior or to discourage people from behaving in a similar way in the future.
You are within your rights to pursue compensation without a personal injury lawyer. However, many victims who pursue a claim without legal representation end up with less than what they truly deserve.
After a personal injury, you will most likely be claiming compensation from insurance companies. Insurance companies are driven by profit, and they employ legal teams whose job it is to devalue or dismiss your claim; when you have experienced representation, you level the playing field.
It is also important to consider that personal injury cases can take many months to settle and can be incredibly stressful. It involves collecting evidence, investigating liability, negotiating with insurance companies, and sometimes a court hearing. At Chris Morrow Law PLLC, we will take over the entire process while keeping you informed at every stage so that you can focus on your recovery.
We are experienced trial lawyers, and insurance defense lawyers know this, which means that they may be more willing to offer a fair settlement outside of court rather than risk court fees. Securing a fair out-of-court settlement is often preferable as it saves time and money, but if a just settlement cannot be reached, then we will be prepared to advocate on your behalf in front of a Judge.
Our personal injury lawyers will fight to ensure that your actual and general damages are considered, including your future costs and your pain and suffering. Using our skills, experience, and resources, we will determine what a good settlement looks like in your case, one that is truly representative of your experiences, and will provide evidence that is difficult to contest.
We also work on a no-win no-fee basis, which means that you will never be left out of pocket. We assume all the risk and only get paid as a percentage of your settlement if we are successful.
Compensatory damages compensate personal injury victims for the actual losses they’ve suffered. Examples include medical and hospital bills and lost wages, both past, and future.
There are two forms of compensatory damages, actual and general. Actual damages replace what was lost and nothing more, such as past lost earnings, property damage, and past medical bills. In contrast, general damages include estimated losses such as future medical bills and lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
Another name for compensatory damages is actual damages.
The three main elements of compensatory damages are medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are a form of monetary award that may be available in personal injury cases involving gross negligence or severe misconduct.
Punitive damages can only be awarded by a Judge in cases that go to trial. They are a way for the Judge to punish the person who has acted recklessly and to deter others from behaving in a similar way.
In auto accident cases, punitive damages are reserved for cases where the driver who caused the accident was grossly negligent and should have known beforehand that their actions had the potential to cause a great deal of harm. If punitive damages could be available to you, then your attorney will need to gather clear and convincing evidence that the defendant knew that their actions carried great risk but acted anyway or that they intended to cause harm.
Although exemplary damages are rare in the context of auto accident cases, many attorneys mistakenly fail to fight for them when there are legitimate reasons for justifying them.
If you are fighting a car accident lawsuit, then it is important to have the help of an attorney who has courtroom experience and who is bold enough to fight for punitive damages when they are justified. That is exactly what you will find at Chris Morrow Law, PLLC.
We help people with personal injury cases in Texas on a daily basis. We always work on a no-win no-fee basis, which means that if we do not win compensation, then you will not pay us anything. We believe that everyone deserves access to high-quality legal representation, and no personal injury victim should be left to struggle with their expenses.
Most personal injury cases, including those involving road traffic accidents, do not go to trial. Usually, it is not in anyone’s best interest to go to trial because court proceedings are time-consuming and expensive. Although an out-of-court settlement will not specify a punitive damages award, it may still be larger if the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless.
However, some auto-accident cases will go to a civil trial if a good settlement cannot be reached or if the defendant’s actions were egregious. A civil trial is different from a criminal trial, and even if the defendant was not given criminal charges, it might still be possible to seek compensation from them in a civil case.
If your auto accident case does go to trial, then a jury will need to vote unanimously to award punitive damages and how much money should be awarded.
In order to determine whether awarding punitive damages is justified, the jury will consider whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the harm you suffered was a result of one of the following:
At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we will help you explore every possible avenue to compensation, including punitive damages. Some examples of cases that could justify punitive damages include:
In order for punitive damages in Texas to be awarded in a personal injury claim, there must first be compensatory or actual damages. Compensatory damages are designed to compensate the victim for the actual losses they have incurred because of the accident. There are two types of compensatory damages, economic damages, and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are designed to compensate victims of personal injury for the economic expense they are faced after an accident. Economic damages after a car accident could include:
Non-economic losses, also known as pain and suffering damages, may be available to compensate you for things such as:
Non-economic damages are highly contentious. However, when you have the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, they will help you evidence your claims so that your settlement is reflective of your pain and suffering.
Texas does not put a cap or limit on economic or non-economic damages after a car accident, but it does put a cap on punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Texas can not exceed twice the amount of economic damages plus the amount of non-economic damages awarded, not to exceed $750,000 or $200,000, whichever is greater.
However, this cap does not apply to cases involving wrongful death, drunk driving, or cases involving injury to a child, disabled individual, or elderly person.
At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we are committed to fighting for justice for personal injury victims in Texas, with car accidents being the most common case we deal with. We are skilled litigators, and if your case justifies punitive damages, then we will advocate fiercely on your behalf.
We will investigate your case and gather all the available evidence. We will work with medical consultation and accident reconstruction specialists to establish the facts of your case so that it is difficult to fight against.
We will take over all negotiations or preparations for trial and will keep you informed and engaged at every stage. We will give you choices and the likelihood of outcomes so that you can decide how you wish to proceed.
In order to secure punitive damages, the jury will need to be presented with clear and convincing evidence of malice, fraud, or gross negligence. Clear and convincing is not as high a standard as beyond a reasonable doubt which is required in criminal court, but it still requires the skill of an experienced car accident attorney who has dedicated themselves to your case.
Punitive damages are not available in every car accident case, but they may be available in cases where the at-fault driver did something more extreme than in a typical accident, such as driving under the influence or street racing.
Yes, punitive damages are available in some wrongful death lawsuits in Texas. If you have lost a family member in a car accident, then we want to help. We understand that no amount of money can heal your grief, but you should not be left suffering financially because of the gross negligence, fraud, or malice of another person.
Every car accident claim is unique, and how long it takes could depend on how clear liability is, the severity of your injuries, and the quality of your representation. Cases that do go to trial will take longer as you will need to wait for the court to be available to hear your case. Cases that go to trial tend to take a year or more.
Yes. Texas operates under comparative negligence, which means that even if you are found to be partially at fault for an accident, you can still claim compensation, even punitive damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by the amount you are deemed to be at fault. For example, if the defendant was driving under the influence, but you were speeding, you may be found to be 20% at fault for the accident. In a claim worth $200,000, you would receive $160,000.
The at-fault party may try to place blame onto you unfairly to reduce what they have to pay you. An experienced car accident lawyer will ensure that this doesn’t happen and that you secure what you deserve.
Although the vast majority of cases do not go to court, if your case involves gross negligence, malice, or fraud, then it is more likely. It is essential you have representation from an experienced trial lawyer from the beginning so that you have strong evidence to support your Texas personal injury case.
Personal injury claims allow victims to claim compensation when they are injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault. An award of punitive or exemplary damages can further ensure that a victim is not left suffering financially. It also makes a statement to the at-fault party and society as a whole that malice, gross negligence, or fraud is not acceptable.
At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we will help you explore every avenue to compensation. If your case justifies punitive damages, we will help you fight for all of the compensation you deserve.
Call Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, today to arrange a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney at 512-729-1972.