Imagine you were in an accident, and now you can't even sit through a Cavaliers game without feeling sharp pain throughout your body. Whether it was a minor car accident or a slip and fall, you should seek to recover damages for your pain and suffering in addition to economic losses. If you've experienced immediate or lasting pain due to someone else's fault, Ohio law allows you to recover a certain amount of damages for your suffering. However, calculating the amount of pain and suffering damages can be difficult, and the amount you can recover will depend on the type of case and specific laws in your state. Read on to learn about pain and suffering damages in Ohio.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Damages can be divided into two categories: special damages and general damages. Special damages cover all monetary losses, including medical expenses after an accident or injury. General damages are awarded for losses in which monetary values are difficult to assign, like pain and suffering.
In Ohio, pain and suffering damages are considered as noneconomic loss. Noneconomic loss refers to nonpecuniary harm that results from an injury or loss to a person or property that is a subject of a tort action. In other words, noneconomic loss refers to any physical pain and mental distress resulting from an accident or injury.
Other types of noneconomic damages are:
As a part of noneconomic loss, pain and suffering damages include both immediate and future pain. You can recover future pain and suffering damages if it's certain that your condition will continue for a long time.
Determining Costs of Pain and Suffering in Ohio
In Ohio, the court or the jury will make separate findings for: (1) the total compensatory damages recoverable, (2) total economic damages, and (3) total noneconomic damages.
In determining noneconomic damages, the court will not consider the following: (1) your opponent's wrongdoing or guilt, (2) evidence of your opponent's wealth or financial resources; and (3) all other evidence that is offered to punish your opponent. Rather, the court will consider the totality of the circumstances that surround the incident and credibility of substantial evidence and witnesses.
Limitations on Noneconomic Damages in Ohio
If you are seeking noneconomic damages in Ohio, you should know that there is a number of limitations. First of all, "statute of limitations" refers to time limit to bring a lawsuit. "Damages caps" are laws that limit the amount of award you can receive. In Ohio, the court applies damages caps on noneconomic damages, subject to some exceptions. Lastly, "negligence standards" are applied to a case when fault is shared among the parties. In Ohio, you can't receive any compensation if you were more than 50 percent at fault. Here is a list of limitations stated in the Ohio Revised Code:
Statute of Limitations Noneconomic Damages Cap
- $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages, whichever is greater, subject to maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and $500,000 per occurrence [Section 2315.18(B)(2)]
Exception to Damages Caps
- There is no cap if the injured person suffered a catastrophic injury, such as permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of the use of a limb, or injury that prevents one from caring for themselves and performing life-sustaining activities [Section 2315.18(B)(3)]
Modified Comparative Negligence
- Damages are recoverable only if you were 50 percent or less at fault [Section 2315.33]
Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly passed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You may want to contact an Ohio personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Learn More About Pain and Suffering Damages in Ohio from an Attorney
If your claim involves pain and suffering or emotional distress, it is difficult to determine a specific amount of damages you can recover. Even if you were partially at fault, you should still seek legal help to receive compensation you deserve. If you're interested in learning more about pain and suffering damages in Ohio, or need help filing a lawsuit, it's best to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Ohio.
Contact a qualified attorney.