Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Ohio Car Accident Case
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, there exist a number of factors that impact the amount of compensation you may obtain through settlement with an insurance company or in court. You may be eligible to receive compensation for the medical bills you incur to treat any harm you sustained, and can claim compensation to reimburse you for the payment you lost if you were unable to work. Plus, the legal concept of pain and suffering may allow you to recover additional amounts. A personal injury lawyer can tell you more about claiming pain and suffering after an Ohio auto accident, but overall info may help answer some of your questions.
What is pain and suffering? When you’re hurt in an auto accident, Ohio law ensures you are able to recover payment for the losses you suffer as a result. The concept is known as “damages,” which fall into two categories:
- Economic Damages: These damages include bills for your medical treatment and lost wages if you’re unable to work because of your injuries. They’re economic in nature because they are quantifiable amounts, which can be ascertained by looking at your medical bills and pay stubs.
- Non-Economic Damages: These consist of losses of a more intangible nature, because their price tag is more difficult to calculate. Pain and suffering falls remains within this classification because it’s difficult to decide a level of pain or level of enjoyment of your life.
How do I prove pain and suffering under Ohio law? Because pain and suffering varies on a case-by-case basis, you’ll need documents and testimony to prove your claim. Evidence that can be used to prove your pain and suffering might be:
- The opinions of medical experts regarding the pain you experienced after the accident, during your recovery, and the discomfort you’ll feel into the future;
- Medical records related to your treatment;
- Prescriptions records for medications prescribed to help you cope with physical pain or emotional anguish;
- Your own testimony regarding the pain and mental distress; and,
- Other relevant evidence.
Are there any limitations on the amount I can receive for pain and suffering? There is an Ohio state law that puts a cap on what you can recover for non-economic damages. The statutory cap on pain and suffering is $250,000 or three times your economic losses, whichever is greater, in cases involving non-catastrophic injuries. The maximum you can receive for non-economic damages is $350,000, or $500,000 in some circumstances. There is no cap on your non-economic loss if your injury qualifies as a catastrophic injury or death under Ohio law.As you can see, it’s quite difficult to establish your right to compensation for pain and suffering after sustaining injuries in an Ohio car accident. Without a legal background, you’re at a disadvantage in understanding how damages work and proving the details of your case. A skilled personal injury attorney will help ensure you obtain the full amount of compensation for pain and suffering to which you are entitled. For more information on claiming damages for your losses after a car crash or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Toledo office of Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC.