Damages in Accident Lawsuits
Car Accident Damage Awards
Nobody expects to get hurt in an accident, but when an accident happens, it is extremely important to make sure you file a claim so that you can be eligible to recover damages. There are various types of damages that can be awarded in accident lawsuits. As a highly experienced accident lawyer in Cleveland, I want to tell you more about the types of damages that may be available to you under Ohio law.
Economic Compensatory Damages in Ohio
Compensatory damages are available in nearly all types of accident cases. An injured plaintiff will need to seek compensatory damages in order to receive them, but most plaintiffs typically seek this type of damage award.
Like the name indicates, compensatory damages are aimed at compensating a person for losses. Compensatory damages can compensate you for economic and non-economic losses. What do these terms mean? Economic losses are direct, objective, monetary losses. For example, hospital bills and lost wages are examples of economic damages. Below is a list of economic compensatory damages:
Victims involved in a car accident case may be entitled to compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of the car accident. These expenses are crucial components of car accident claims, and they play a significant role in determining the average car accident settlement. Medical expenses include hospital bills, doctor’s fees, surgery costs, medication, rehabilitation, and any future medical treatment related to the car accident lawsuit.
This covers the cost of repairing or replacing the victim’s vehicle or other damaged property, such as personal belongings damaged in the car accident. Property damage is a common component of car accident claims, and is typically included in the calculation of the car accident settlement. I work with a team of experts who help determine the damages you should be awarded. Do not simply rely on the insurance company to justly compensate you!
Victims can receive compensation for income they’ve lost due to the car accident. This loss of income is a significant factor in car accident claims, and can have a substantial impact on the average car accident settlement. Documentation, such as pay stubs and work records, is often required to prove this loss.
Loss of Earning Capacity
In cases where the victim’s future earning capacity is impaired because of the accident, they may be entitled to compensation for their diminished earning potential. Loss of earning capacity is a critical consideration in car accident claims and can significantly influence the outcome of a car accident lawsuit. Current and future wages that may be lost must be taken into account.
If the victim involved in a car accident case requires physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other forms of rehabilitation as a result of the car accident, they are entitled to be compensated. The cost of these services can be included in compensatory damages. Rehabilitation costs are an essential part of car accident claims.
Some car accident victims may be compensated for reasonable costs related to transportation for medical appointments, therapy, or other necessary services resulting from the car accident. It is important that the additional transportation costs are covered in your lawsuit.
In serious cases, where the victim’s injuries require modifications to their home to accommodate disabilities or mobility issues, the cost of these modifications may be included in damages. Too often, accidents can be life-changing events. I am here to make sure you get the help you need!
Sometimes the accident victim requires assistance with daily activities due to injuries sustained in the car accident. Compensation for the cost of hiring a caregiver, or for the time and effort provided by family members are all taken into account when damage awards are determined.
Funeral and Burial Expenses
In the unfortunate event of a fatal car accident, the victim’s family may receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses. These expenses are an integral part of a car accident case.
With over 40 years of experience as a personal injury attorney, I’ve helped thousands of injured victims in Cleveland obtain the compensation they need after an accident. If you were severely hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, I can help you too. A serious accident can change your life, but filing a personal injury lawsuit can get you what you need to make that change easier. Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Non-Economic Compensatory Damages
Non-economic damages compensate for subjective losses such as pain and suffering. These can be difficult to quantify. Non-economic damages can vary widely depending upon the specific circumstances. Here are some examples of non-economic damages:
Pain and Suffering
Car accident victims often experience physical pain and emotional distress, making it a vital component in a personal injury claim. I will assess the extent of the pain and suffering endured by the victim, which significantly impacts the outcome of the personal injury lawsuit and typical car accident settlement.
Accidents can lead to emotional trauma, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues for car accident victims. These emotional distress damages are critical aspects of a personal injury case, and require careful consideration. Emotional distress can be just as difficult to manage as physical injuries
Loss of Consortium
In a personal injury lawsuit, loss of consortium damages may be sought on behalf of the spouse or partner of the injured victim. Loss of consortium recognizes the impact of the accident on personal relationships and companionship.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Injured victims may be deprived of their ability to participate in activities they once enjoyed. This is a key point emphasized in a personal injury claim. It can be devastating when someone is no longer able to do what they once really, truly enjoyed. If this applies to you, I will certainly seek compensation on your behalf.
Disfigurement or Scarring
Personal injury lawsuits often address disfigurement or scarring caused by car accidents. These damages reflect not only the physical changes, but also the emotional distress associated with appearance alterations. Sadly, I have handled car accident lawsuits for many victims who have been horribly disfigured.
Personal injury cases frequently include claims for the inconvenience suffered by car accident victims. I can help establish the extent of inconvenience caused by ongoing medical treatment, therapy sessions, and disruptions to daily routines.
In personal injury lawsuits, sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, nightmares, or disrupted sleep patterns, are essential factors to be considered for damage recovery. The impact of sleep-related issues, such as sleep deprivation, can impact the victims overall well-being.
Post-accident anxiety is a common issue for car accident victims, and is often addressed in personal injury claims. I work with a team of experts who help victims seek compensation for anxiety and its negative effects on their daily lives.
Physical injuries are painful, and the medical bills compiled during the healing process help quantify the damages you may recover in a lawsuit. The emotional toll involved in the aftermath of a car accident is not as easy to quantify. Often times, the emotional toll is even harder to deal with than the physical toll. Dealing with the emotional effects of a car accident is difficult, and you should seek and get the help help you need without worrying about paying for it. That’s why you need to call me and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Punitive or Exemplary Damages
Ohio law sometimes allows an accident victim to seek punitive damages. This type of award is not aimed at providing an accident victim with compensation, but rather punitive or exemplary damages are aimed at punishing the at-fault party for especially reckless or egregious behavior. Examples of punitive damages include:
Recklessness: Punitive damages may be imposed when the at-fault party in a motor vehicle accident demonstrates a reckless disregard for the safety of others on the road. This could include behaviors such as excessive speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or aggressive driving. I can help you pursue punitive damages when such recklessness is evident.
Intoxication: If the at-fault party caused the car crash while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, punitive damages may be warranted in the car accident claim. Driving while intoxicated is a clear example of willful misconduct that endangers other drivers and justifies punitive damages.
Distracted Driving: Punitive damages may be sought in a car accident claim if the at-fault party was engaged in distracting behavior, such as texting, using a phone, or other activities that significantly contributed to the accident.
Street Racing: Engaging in illegal street racing or other forms of dangerous racing activities can result in punitive damages. Such behavior poses an extreme risk to the public.
Hit and Run: Fleeing the scene of an accident without providing necessary information or assistance to the injured party is considered an accident caused by willful negligence. Punitive damages may be sought in a car accident claim to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions.
Driving Without a License: If the at-fault party caused the car crash while driving without a valid driver’s license or with a suspended or revoked license, punitive damages may be appropriate in a car accident case. Such behavior reflects a disregard for legal requirements and public safety.
Road Rage: Engaging in aggressive behavior on the road, such as road rage incidents that lead to accidents, may result in punitive damages be awarded. Such behavior is not only dangerous but also intentional and malicious.
Violating Traffic Laws: Repeated and intentional violations of traffic laws that directly result in a car accident may be grounds for punitive damages. This includes actions such as running red lights, stop signs, or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Evading Law Enforcement: Attempting to evade law enforcement by engaging in a high-speed chase or other dangerous maneuvers is incredibly dangerous. This conduct puts innocent bystanders at risk.
Previous Convictions: If the at-fault party has a history of dangerous driving behavior or previous convictions related to reckless driving, punitive damages may be sought and awarded to discourage further misconduct.
According to Ohio law, if the defendant is an individual or a small business, punitive damages are capped at “the lesser of two times the amount of the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff from the defendant or 10% of the employer’s or individual’s net worth when the [accident] was committed.”
As a member of the Cleveland community, I want to feel safe when I drive, and I want you to feel safe too. Punitive damages are important to help discourage drivers from being irresponsible. Keeping our roads safe is incredibly important. Making Cleveland a safer place is a huge reason why I became a personal injury lawyer!
Reduced Damages Due to Contributory Fault
Ohio’s contributory fault law says that a plaintiff can still receive damages even if she or he is at fault, but that fault cannot exceed 51%. Once a plaintiff is deemed 51% at fault or more, the plaintiff is barred from obtaining damages. As long as the plaintiff is less than 50% at fault, he/she can receive damages, but the award will be reduced by the percentage of fault.
Contact Me for Assistance with Your Accident Claim
I know how important it is to be able to seek damages after a serious accident that has left you with medical bills and the inability to work. I will do everything I can to help ensure you receive compensation for your losses.
Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may be eligible to seek punitive damages for particularly reckless conduct. Accident lawsuits can vary widely in terms of the underlying source of injury, but plaintiffs typically can be eligible to seek the compensatory damages I explained above.
As an experienced Ohio accident lawyer, I know what it takes to win a settlement and a jury verdict. Do not hesitate to get in touch with me to learn more about how I can help you get the compensation you need. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 800-556-4769 for assistance today.