If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you might be eligible for pain and suffering damages. These damages are designed to make up for short- and long-term noneconomic losses, like mental anguish, disfigurement, and other losses that don’t have a specific monetary value already attached.
Pain and suffering can be complicated to calculate, unlike lost wages and medical bills. Here’s how the court may determine a value on your distress.
Ohio’s Pain and Suffering Rules
Because it’s so difficult to put a monetary value on noneconomic damages, and the potential for abuse is high, Ohio has rules about calculating pain and suffering. Courts and juries evaluate noneconomic damages on the totality of the case, including credible witness testimony. They do not factor in the defendant’s responsibility, nor evidence of how wealthy the defendant may be. Noneconomic damages are strictly calculated according to the plaintiff’s situation.
Ohio has caps on noneconomic damages, and you won’t receive any type of compensation if you’re deemed 50 percent or more at fault.
For standard personal injury cases, the cap on noneconomic damages “shall not exceed the greater of two hundred fifty thousand dollars or an amount that is equal to three times the economic loss…to a maximum of three hundred fifty thousand dollars for each plaintiff in that tort action or a maximum of five hundred thousand dollars for each occurrence that is the basis of that tort action.”
The exception to this law is if you’ve suffered “[p]ermanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system [or] permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for self and perform life-sustaining activities.” In these cases, there is no limit to how much you can recover in noneconomic damages.
Calculating the Value of Pain and Suffering
There are three ways your attorney might come up with a number for pain and suffering. First, they may seek the maximum amount available under Ohio law. Alternatively, they might calculate a “per diem” rate, which is helpful when an insurance company or opposing party is trying to drag out the process. Finally, they might multiply the economic damages by two or three to reflect the severity of your losses. Your attorney should be able to explain which method they’re choosing and why.
Recover Pain and Suffering Damages in Your Personal Injury Case
If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 today for more information. Together, we’ll discuss your options and determine the best way to seek compensation.