In some circumstances, an injury victim can seek damages that are not designed to compensate the victim for their losses. Instead, these damages, called punitive damages, are a civil penalty designed to punish the wrongdoer for their conduct. Because the law does not take civil penalties lightly, presenting a case for punitive damages requires the injury victim to prove the wrongdoer was engaged in some type of egregious or reckless conduct when the wrongdoer caused the injury. Drunk or intoxicated driving, as well as texting while driving, are probably the two most common types of egregious conduct that result in the assessment of punitive damages for Texas personal injury victims.
Obtaining the evidence necessary to prove egregious conduct can be time consuming and challenging. Even when the wrongdoer was arrested in connection with the injury-causing event, the government and the wrongdoer will often attempt to roadblock the victim’s access to pertinent information while the crime is being investigated. Additionally, in our experience, law enforcement has done a very poor job investigating cell phone usage in car crashes, making it very difficult (but not impossible) to prove after the fact.
Even when the personal injury victim is able to successfully prove the egregious conduct, the law in Texas caps the amount the wrongdoer has to pay as a civil penalty. However even with the caps, proving egregious conduct that allows for recovery of punitive damages can dramatically increase the overall value of a case.
A special message to the friends and potential new clients of FVF Law:
FVF’s client contract has, for a long time, contained the following termination clause: “FVF Law is a values-driven law firm, and because diversity is a value we support, “good cause” [for termination] shall include any expression by the client of intolerance with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.”
Now more than ever, FVF recognizes the global need to combat racism proactively, and to do so with more than just words. This firm was built on the mission of being better. Better lawyers. Better advocates. Better people.
We all know being better requires an ongoing commitment to learning, growth, introspection, and change. We enthusiastically embrace that commitment and hereby pledge to do more than just talk about it. Stay tuned on our blog and facebook page for more about what FVF is doing to back this important global effort.
In the meantime, we would respectfully request new clients who find their own views incompatible with this pledge to consider contacting another firm to handle their case. In any case, we invite you to provide honest feedback by emailing email@example.com.
Josh and Aaron, and all of FVF Law