If you’ve been injured because someone was reckless or negligent, you probably need to pay unexpected medical bills and other expenses. But you may be unsure of how to get what you deserve. The Ohio personal injury attorneys at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Zeiher Co. LPA will help you obtain the compensation necessary to get the medical care you need so you can move forward with your life.
Types of Damages in Ohio
Various financial damages can be awarded in personal injury lawsuits, but the amount and type depend on the facts and circumstances. In some cases, there are limits and conditions on what a person can expect. Therefore, it is important to know how personal injury damages are awarded in Ohio.
- Compensatory damages are intended to make the accident victim fiancially whole for the losses caused by the injury.
- Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and act as a deterrent but are rarely awarded in personal injury cases.
Compensatory damages are divided into two categories: economic and noneconomic.
- Economic damages compensate a person for quantifiable losses, like medicals bills and lost wages.
- Noneconomic damages involve less concrete damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and disfigurement.
While economic damages are not subject to caps or limits, Ohio limits the non-economic damages to accident victims. For example, there are no personal injury damage caps on the medical expenses you can recover after a car accident. However, there is a limit on what you can expect for the resulting mental anguish.
Caps on Damages in Ohio: Noneconomic and Punitive
Ohio enacted tort reform measures in 2005 to limit certain damages in lawsuits.
As a result, damage “caps” limit the compensation a jury can award. Ohio Revised Code §2315.18 also puts caps on noneconomic damages while §2315.21(D) limits the punitive damages that can be awarded.
Ohio limits what you can recover for noneconomic damages to the greater of (a) $250,000 or (b) three times your economic damages, which is subject to a maximum of $350,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.
Under Ohio Revised Code §2315.18(B)(3), there is an exception in cases where the victim has sustained a catastrophic loss.
The limitation on noneconomic damages does not apply when the victim suffered:
- a permanent and substantial physical deformity like a lost limb, or
- a permanent physical injury that prevents them from caring for themself.
Punitive damages are capped at twice the value of compensatory damages. However, if the defendant is a small employer or individual, the punitive damages are limited to ten percent of net worth up to a maximum of $350,000.
Other factors that may impact the compensation available in a personal injury include insurance policy limits, any pre-existing injuries, and if the plaintiff is partially at fault.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, it is important that you speak with a personal injury attorney as early as possible to discuss your options. A knowledgeable Ohio personal injury attorney like Victor Kademenos can explain your legal options, help you pursue a claim for compensation, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Call today at (419) 625-7770 for a free no-risk consultation. We’ll help you understand what you deserve and fight to secure everything you’re entitled to by law.