Pain and Suffering in Ohio Personal Injury Cases
In a personal injury case, in addition to compensation for economic damages, the victim may also be entitled to receive non-economic damages for the “pain and suffering” experienced as a result of the injury suffered. Pain and suffering refers to the mental stress, physical pain, discomfort and emotional pain suffered by the victim as a result of the accident. Depression, anxiety, fear, and nightmares are a few examples of the ensuing pain and suffering that a victim might experience after suffering an injury.
For example, a person who was injured in a car accident may suffer back and shoulder pain after the accident. If the pain is extreme, it might also lead to sleepless nights and stress. All these effects are included while calculating the pain and suffering in a personal injury claim. However, unlike other economic damages such as compensation for medical or hospital bills, calculating the value of ‘pain and suffering’ is not an easy task and involves a multitude of factors.
Pain and suffering damages include compensation for both current and future pain. Further, loss of companionship, society, training, or education is also included within the definition of pain and suffering.
Evidence Required to Prove Pain and Suffering
It might be useful to have the following evidence to support a pain and suffering claim:
- Prescription records of the pain relief medication taken and other medical records.
- Expert medical opinion.
- Testimony of colleagues, friends or family explaining the effect of the injury on daily life.
- Victim’s own testimony
Maximum Damages for Pain and Suffering
Ohio Laws prescribe an upper limit on damages that can be sought as compensation for pain and suffering. Currently, the limit is set at $250,000 or three times the economic damages, whichever is greater, subject to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and $500,000 per occurrence. However, no upper limit is prescribed for accidents where the victim suffered a catastrophic injury such as loss of limb.
It is also important to keep in mind that Ohio laws also take into account the contributory negligence or shared negligence of the victim. This means that a victim can recover damages for pain and suffering only if they are at 50% fault or less.
Further, generally, Ohio personal injury claims for personal and property damage usually have a two-year limitation period.
If you or a loved one suffered injury as a result of negligence of another person, contact our legal team today for a Free Consultation to understand your legal right to claim damages for pain and suffering. Contact Ziccarelli & Martello today to speak to an experienced Ohio Personal Injury Attorney.