When someone breaches their fiduciary duty, they have violated a trust placed in them. This can cause significant hardship for their victims. If you have been harmed by a breach of fiduciary duty in Texas, it is important to understand your legal rights and what you can do to seek damages.
Understanding fiduciary duty in Texas
When someone is in a fiduciary relationship with another person, they have a legal duty to act in the other person’s best interests. This duty exists regardless of whether there is a formal agreement in place or not. A fiduciary relationship can arise in many different contexts, such as between an employer and employee, doctor and patient or trustee and beneficiary.
Two types of fiduciary duty can be owed in Texas: the duty of loyalty and the duty of care. The duty of loyalty requires the fiduciary to put the victim’s interests ahead of their own. This means they cannot self-deal or take advantage of the victim in any way. The duty of care requires the fiduciary to act in a reasonable and prudent manner when making decisions on behalf of the victim.
Determining damages in a breach of fiduciary duty case
If a breach of fiduciary duty has harmed you, you may be entitled to recover damages in civil litigation. The damages you can recover will depend on the unique facts of your case, but there are some general strategies that can help you determine what your claim may be worth.
First, it is important to document all of the ways in which the breach of fiduciary duty has harmed you. This includes any financial losses you have incurred, as well as any emotional distress or other intangible harms. It is also important to keep track of any expenses incurred due to the breach, such as medical bills or therapy costs.
Next, you will need to calculate the value of the economic damages, such as lost wages or medical bills, and for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. The court could also order exemplary damages, if you win, to punish the fiduciary for their bad conduct.
It is important to remember that Texas has a cap on non-economic and exemplary damages. However, the state allows for “cap-bursting,” which essentially means that if the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, you might be able to recover more than the $750,000 limit.