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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 injury lawyerMost of the time, when one hears about people being injured on a bus, they assume there has been an accident. However, recently, one San Antonio man was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted of the stabbing of another man in October 2017, aboard a VIA bus. This is obviously a very unusual event, but it can sometimes confuse people who may not understand the difference between a criminal case like this one, and a civil case in personal injury, as is more likely to happen on board a bus.

Crime vs Civil Tort

In the stabbing case, the attacker appeared to attack the victim in an attempt to steal his cell phone, stabbing him repeatedly, though the victim ultimately survived. There was graphic video from the bus’s security cameras that captured the nature of the attack, and it seemed to begin out of nowhere. The attacker was later tried and convicted, reappearing in court on February 6 for his sentencing. He pleaded “nolo contendere,” which means ‘no contest’ and is technically not an admission of guilt. However, the judge sentenced him to 35 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, plus a fine.

The attacker was charged with a crime, punishable by jail time among other potential consequences. However, most injuries that happen on buses or other public transportation are considered to happen as a result of civil torts. A civil tort is a negligent or reckless act that ends in loss or harm to another person or to property, while a crime is considered a wrongful act against society as a whole. If there is a VIA bus accident where people are injured, it is considered a civil tort because the keyword is accident - there would be no malice or intent to injure anyone. The attacker clearly, by the video, intended to injure the victim and was thus charged with a crime.

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TX injury lawyerRecently, a school bus from the North East Independent School District (NEISD) was rear-ended by a car trying to go around it, injuring the bus driver and the auto driver. Approximately 30 children were on board, en route to Stone Oak Elementary, but none were reported injured; they were transferred to another bus and send on their way. However, school bus accidents can often end far worse for those involved, especially very young children. If your child or children is injured in a school bus crash, consulting a lawyer is a crucial step to determine how to proceed.

Rear-End Collisions Are Common

In general, rear-end collisions between vehicles (that is, collisions where one vehicle’s front end strikes another’s rear end) are some of the most common in the U.S., as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that they make up around 30 percent of all two-vehicle accidents. While these types of crashes are common, they are also allegedly the most avoidable - studies indicate that a majority of rear-end crashes occur simply because one or both drivers are not paying attention.

In the Stone Oak accident, the driver of the automobile had grown impatient and tried to cut around the bus, but miscalculated the distance and struck the back of the vehicle. This kind of driving is another common cause of rear-end crashes; trying to cut corners or pass another vehicle without appropriately checking the distances (in other words, driving in a manner that might be classified as negligent) can be the cornerstone for a personal injury lawsuit if negligence can be established.

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TX injury lawyerA woman was killed when her vehicle rolled over early one morning, landing in a field near Highway 151 and Pinn Road. There were two car seats found in the back of the vehicle, though no evidence of passengers was immediately clear. Law enforcement said that the woman was ejected from the vehicle because she was almost certainly not wearing a seatbelt and that the immediate cause of the accident was most likely the vehicle hitting the curb and rolling. While no other vehicles appeared to be involved in the crash, this fact pattern does not always repeat itself in rollovers. If you or a loved one has been in a rollover accident, it is possible that you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, and if this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation.

Rollover Accidents Are Deadly

Because of the sheer nature of rollover accidents, with so much weight moving around, rollovers are generally more likely to cause injuries and deaths than other types of car crashes. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that while only about two percent of accidents are rollovers, those accidents cause as many as 35 percent of all car crash fatalities. This number may even be higher if one factors in a lack of seatbelt usage - approximately 70 percent of those killed in rollovers were not wearing seatbelts at the time of their accidents.

Because rollover crashes can be so violent, the types of injuries that a rollover victim can sustain, even if they survive, are varied and will often be quite severe. They can be as simple as broken bones, cuts, and bruises, or they can be as complex as traumatic brain injuries, total or partial amputations, and spinal problems. Either way, if you believe that you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, bringing suit may be an option.

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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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