If you sustain injuries in an Ohio car crash or other accident, you likely will experience a good deal of pain. Regardless of whether you experience this pain temporarily or long after your physical injuries heal, you have the right to sue those whose negligence caused your injuries.
Ohio has two categories of damages for which you can sue: special and general. Your special damages consist of your economic damages on which you can place a precise figure, such as your ambulance bill, hospital bills, etc. Your general damages consist of your noneconomic damages on which neither you nor anyone else can place a precise figure, such as your pain and suffering. And remember, these damages include not only the pain and suffering you currently experience, but also the pain and suffering that you can reasonably expect to continue in the future.
Calculations for pain and suffering damages
Because your pain and suffering cannot be reduced to an actual figure, the judge and/or jury will make their calculation based on the totality of the circumstances in your case. (S)he and/or they will also consider the credibility of the expert witnesses you engage to testify on your behalf at trial. Consequently, the more clear and convincing evidence you and your witnesses can present at trial, the better your chances of receiving a large monetary award.
Ohio law places a cap on the amount of noneconomic damages, including your pain and suffering damages, you can recover in your personal injury lawsuit. That cap consists of either $250,000 or an amount three times that of your economic damages, whichever figure is higher. However, Ohio law also limits your total noneconomic damages to $350,000 per person or $500,000 per occurrence.
These caps become waived, however, if you suffered a catastrophic injury such as one of the following:
- Loss of one or more limbs
- A substantial permanent physical deformity
- An injury that prevents you from performing your own day-to-day life-sustaining activities
Lastly, be aware that Ohio is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you cannot recover any damages whatsoever if the judge and/or jury determines that you contributed 51% or more to the accident that caused your injuries.