When you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to recover financial compensation. Your economic damages include items like your medical expenses and loss of earnings.
You may also be wondering how much money can you sue for pain and suffering. Ohio law is complicated when it comes to compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. To better understand your potential claim value, you need to speak with a Northwest Ohio personal injury lawyer.
Determining If You Can Sue for Pain and Suffering Damages
To determine whether you can sue for pain and suffering damages, you must first look at liability in your case. Before you can recover any compensation for your injuries, you must be able to prove liability against the defendant. That means the defendant must have:
- Owed a duty to you;
- Breached that duty; and
- Proximately caused your injuries through the breach of duty.
Once you have successfully met the burden of proof for liability, you still have to prove your damages. You must be able to show you endured pain and suffering physically and/or emotionally. Factors courts look at when calculating your pain and suffering damages include:
- The severity of your injuries;
- How your injuries impacted your career, daily life, family, and relationships;
- The length of time it took you to heal;
- Whether future treatment is needed; and
- What your overall discomfort levels and pain were.
These are all subjective figures. To help support your claim for pain and suffering, you want to have documentation from your medical providers as to your physical and emotional state of mind. They should discuss your pain and suffering, what medications you are taking or were previously prescribed, etc.
It’s helpful to have family or friends who can write down or give testimony on your behalf. Your own written statement or testimony is also vital in helping others understand what you were going through.
How Much Money Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?
The amount of financial compensation you can get for pain and suffering will vary. The more serious your injuries are, the larger settlement you are likely to receive.
Ohio does not have a cap on the amount of compensation you can recover for non-economic damages in catastrophic injury cases. Catastrophic injuries would be things like an amputated limb, permanent disabilities, or a physical deformity.
However, for non-catastrophic injuries, Ohio caps damages at $250,000 or three times the economic damages, whichever is greater. However, there is a maximum cap of $350,000 per plaintiff, or $500,000 for multiple plaintiffs.
Steps to Take After Your Injury
If you were not transported from the scene via ambulance, you still need to seek medical treatment right away. If you wait two or three weeks to seek medical treatment, the defendant’s insurance company may claim you were not that injured or that something happened after the initial accident. You do not want to give the defense any opportunity to poke holes in your case or raise doubt about how seriously you were injured.
Resolving Your Pain and Suffering Case Out of Court
Understandably, you might be wondering whether it’s better to go to trial and how much do insurance companies pay for pain and suffering? There is no exact amount, but they often use some variation of a formula. It could be something like three times your economic damages for moderate to severe cases or five times your economic losses in catastrophic cases. However, every carrier values claims differently. This is why you want an experienced Northwest Ohio personal injury attorney on your side.
We will advise you whether it makes more sense to resolve your case out of court or whether it’s worth taking your case to trial. Many personal injury cases resolve out of court, even before a lawsuit is filed at all. If we need to file a lawsuit on your behalf, it doesn’t mean your case will drag on for years until the court sets a trial date. We will continue to work with the defense to resolve your case for its full value.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
To help you maximize the amount of pain and suffering damages you can receive, we will conduct a thorough independent investigation on our own. Our goal is to prove liability against the other party and maximize the compensation you’ll receive. We will gather all necessary evidence, collect medical documentation, and hire any experts required to prove you deserve the amount of pain and suffering you’re demanding.
If your case proceeds to litigation, we will handle all the trial preparation. We have the experience and the resources necessary to cover all the up-front expenses and hire the best experts available. If you need representation to sue for pain and suffering damages, let us help fight for you. Contact Bensinger Law today to schedule an initial consultation.