Does Texas have damage caps on personal injury claims? Or can a claimant get as large of a verdict award as the court sees fit? Yes, Texas does have damage caps. But, no, the caps do not apply to all injury claims.
Texas damage caps only apply in three specific case situations:
- Medical malpractice: If you have filed a claim against a medical professional or institution for medical malpractice, then you can recover any amount of economic damages, which are mostly related to your medical care and lost income. But there is a cap on the amount of non-economic damages you can be awarded, which are related to your pain and suffering. In Texas, a medical malpractice non-economic damage cap exists at $250,000 from each defendant, up to $750,000 maximum, regardless of the total number of defendants.
- Government defendants: When you need to sue a government entity in Texas, the Texas Tort Claims Act applies damage caps to your case. Overall, you can receive up to $250,000 per defendant or $500,000 per case for bodily injuries and miscellaneous costs. There is a separate $100,000 cap for property damage. Importantly, caps against government defendants apply to non-economic and economic damages. If your economic damages hit the cap, then you will have no room to get even a dollar for the pain and suffering you have endured.
- Punitive damages: In rare cases, a judge can approve punitive damages to further punish the defendant for criminal wrongdoing or egregious negligence that really has no excuse. Punitive damages in Texas are capped, though, at $200,000 or double the non-economic damage value, up to $750,000, whichever is greater.