If you were injured in an accident that resulted from another person’s negligent behavior, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for many types of damages, including pain and suffering. Determining the value of these damages is much more complicated than determining the value of economic damages like medical bills and lost wages.
Our knowledgeable Cincinnati personal injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have extensive experience calculating the value of pain and suffering. You can schedule a free review of your claim with one of our lawyers today. This meeting is an opportunity to ask your questions and learn more about the legal process.
How Is Pain And Suffering Defined?
Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain and mental distress resulting from an accident.
For example, if someone suffered a back injury in a car accident, he or she may be able to file a claim for lower back pain he or she is currently experiencing and may experience in the future. If someone was injured in an accident and has nightmares that disturb his or her sleep, this could be considered part of pain and suffering. Other examples of pain and suffering may include depression, anxiety and stress.
How Are These Damages Calculated?
Insurance adjusters and juries often use certain systems to determine how much pain and suffering is worth:
This method establishes the value of pain and suffering by multiplying the total value of your economic damages by a variable, usually between one and five. For example, if you sustained $6,000 in medical bills and $4,000 in lost wages and the insurance company or jury applied a multiplier of three, the value of your pain and suffering would be $30,000.
Many insurance companies use computer programs to determine the variable to use based on the client’s reported economic expenses, recent court verdicts and similar case settlements.
Daily Rate Method
This approach assigns a daily rate for your pain and suffering. This rate is then multiplied by the number of days you endured pain and suffering.
Evidence Of Your Pain And Suffering
Evidence that may help you establish your pain and suffering may include:
- Your medical records
- Prescription records that establish how much pain medication you had to take
- Opinions of medical experts
- Testimony from family and coworkers who can explain how the injury has affected you
- Your own testimony, whether spoken or documented in a pain journal
Ohio’s Caps On Non-Economic Damages
Pain and suffering is considered part of “non-economic damages” and is therefore subject to Ohio’s cap on these damages. The damage cap in Ohio is $250,000 or three times the amount of your economic damages (medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, etc.), whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and $500,000 per incident.
In Ohio, this damage cap does not apply if the injured person suffers a catastrophic injury, such as:
- An injury that prevents the victim from being able to care for themselves or perform life-sustaining activities
- Permanent and substantial physical deformity
- Loss of a limb or its function
Contact Us For More Information
After an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your damages – even those that are more difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering.
At OAL Law, we are prepared to thoroughly investigate your accident and begin gathering evidence to support your potential claim. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.