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TX injury lawyerInjuries from car crashes and other accidents often have a major impact on all areas of a person’s life, including their finances, their physical and mental health, their work, and their personal relationships. Texas law recognizes the many hardships that injuries can bring, and when those injuries are caused by another person’s negligence, victims can pursue compensation for a range of damages. While money cannot reverse all of the effects of injuries, it is often the best way for an injury victim to obtain the relief they need to move forward with their life.

What Damages Can an Injury Victim Pursue in Texas?

In Texas, damages available through a personal injury claim generally fall into three categories. Two of those, economic and noneconomic damages, are often referred to together as compensatory damages, and they are quite commonly awarded. The third category, known as exemplary damages, is less common, as it requires a higher standard of proof. As you prepare to file an injury claim, here is what you should know about each category:

  • Economic damages refer to financial costs and losses related to the injury, and they are a part of every personal injury case. Most commonly, they include the costs of all of the victim’s medical expenses, including emergency and hospital care, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation. Economic damages can also include damage to the victim’s vehicle or other property, as well as lost income due to missed time from work or long-term disability. It is important to keep detailed records of all expenses related to your injury so that you have support for the compensation you are seeking.
  • Noneconomic damages refer to negative effects of the injuries that do not have a clear financial value. This includes physical and mental pain and suffering, permanent scarring or disfigurement, inconvenience in the victim’s daily life, and the loss of personal relationships and enjoyment of life. Testimony from the victim, their friends and family, and health professionals can help to make the case for noneconomic damages, and an attorney can help to determine and negotiate for an appropriate amount based on the nature of the case.
  • Exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, are meant to penalize the negligent party rather than compensate the victim for losses. In personal injury cases, they are typically only awarded when the victim can demonstrate malice or gross negligence on the part of the defendant, and they are usually limited to a maximum of $200,000 or a figure calculated using the amount of compensatory damages awarded. However, this limit does not apply to cases involving intoxication assault, or manslaughter.

Contact a New Braunfels, TX Personal Injury Lawyer

At The Bettersworth Law Firm, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to advise you on the appropriate amount to pursue all relevant damages and to negotiate or litigate aggressively on your behalf to achieve a fair result. Contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney today at 830-606-0404 for a free consultation.

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TX injury lawyer

UPDATE: This blog was originally published on June 22, 2020. Since then, subsequent executive orders have definitively extended the tolling of the statute of limitations for civil cases to September 15, 2020, and granted judges the discretion to extend the deadline for filing through April 1, 2021. As the people of Texas cope with the unusual nature of court cases during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Bettersworth Law Firm will help you determine whether a personal injury lawsuit is possible for injuries you have sustained either recently or in the past few years.


On March 13, 2020, on the heels of Gov. Abbott’s declaration of disaster for the state of Texas, the state Supreme Court authored an emergency order tolling (pausing) all “service and filing deadlines” in civil cases until June 1. This means that any deadline for filing a lawsuit or serving process on a party to a lawsuit is extended until June 1 - usually a good thing for those contemplating filing suit - but there has been some confusion about just how far the order extends. If you are in a position to file a civil lawsuit, you need to be aware of what your position will likely be now that the statute of limitations is no longer being paused.

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TX truck accident attorneyThe trucking industry is responsible for transporting all manner of cargo throughout the U.S., and in some cases, the type of cargo a truck is carrying can have unique implications if the truck is in an accident. In recent weeks, San Antonio has seen multiple truck accidents involving unusual cargo, including a fatal crash in which molasses was spilled onto the road on Loop 1604, and another accident on I-35 involving a truck carrying beehives in which a swarm of bees was released and had to be contained by pest control.

However, some truck accidents stand out because the truck is carrying particularly hazardous cargo, which can contribute directly to the severity of the crash and the resulting injuries. If you have been injured in a crash with a truck carrying hazardous materials, it is important to work with an attorney who understands trucking regulations and can help you achieve the most possible compensation.

How Can Hazardous Materials Affect a Truck Crash?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) classifies certain kinds of materials as hazardous. Many of these materials are dangerous because they are flammable, combustible, or explosive. If a truck carrying these types of materials is in an accident, the truck and the surrounding area may ignite and cause severe burn injuries or injuries due to the force of an explosion.

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TX accident lawyerEarlier this month, a driver was killed on Highway 71 in South Austin after colliding at a high speed with a semi-truck that was parked on the side of the road. In the crash, which happened at around 2 a.m., the driver’s vehicle ignited on impact and slid underneath the truck’s trailer. The accident is still under investigation, but the unusual combination of circumstances is a reminder of the many dangers that can lead to serious injuries and fatalities in South Central Texas car crashes, especially those involving collisions between passenger vehicles and large trucks.

Severe Injuries Are Common in Texas Truck Wrecks

Among the many factors that may contribute to the severity and outcome of a crash such as this include:

  • Weight and size disparities between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to an average weight of 4,000 pounds for a passenger vehicle. As such, the occupants of passenger vehicles often suffer the most severe injuries in a collision. The large size of a semi-truck also presents the risk of another vehicle sliding underneath. While most trucks are equipped with a rear underride bar to reduce this risk, and federal regulations may soon require annual inspections of underride bars to ensure they are functional, they are not always fully effective.
  • Low visibility at night. The low light in the late night and early morning hours can make it more difficult to detect another vehicle, especially one that is parked on the shoulder. This means that drivers may have less time to react and avoid a collision. Driver fatigue is also common late at night, and this can further dull a driver’s senses and awareness.
  • Traveling at high speed. High-speed crashes have a higher rate of fatality, in part due to the force of the impact. Speeding also makes it more difficult to slow or stop to prevent a rear-end collision.
  • The risk of fire and explosion. Motor vehicles carry many flammable materials, including gasoline and oil, and these can ignite when fuel lines rupture in a high-impact crash. An explosion can cause severe burns and other injuries, and in some cases, immediate death.

 If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a crash involving any of these characteristics, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you identify negligence on the part of any other drivers or parties involved. Evidence of negligence, including unsafe driving or faulty equipment, can help you build a case for fair compensation for damages you have suffered.

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TX injury lawyerAlready this year, the San Antonio area has seen multiple car accidents resulting from police chases. These events can encourage fleeing drivers to travel at high speeds, make unsafe maneuvers, and otherwise violate traffic laws that aim to promote safety on the roads. Unfortunately, when a crash does happen, it is often innocent bystanders who are injured. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash related to a police chase, an attorney can help you pursue compensation.

National Statistics for Police Chase Accidents

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has closely examined police vehicle pursuits and their effects in recent years, most recently publishing a special report in 2017. Over the 20-year time period covered by the report, researchers found an average of 355 annual fatalities due to police chases. While occupants of the vehicle being pursued accounted for the majority of these fatalities, 33 percent of those who lost their lives were uninvolved bystanders. The report also found a similar percentage for bystander injuries.

Liability in a Police Chase Accident

If you have been injured as a bystander because of a police chase, there is a good chance that your injuries are due to no fault of your own. However, it can be complicated to determine who is at fault and how or if you can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. The answer to these questions may depend on whether you were injured due to the actions of the suspect, an officer in pursuit, or a combination of the two.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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