If you were injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent road user, the other driver may have to pay for your pain and suffering under Ohio law. “Pain and suffering” is a non-economic loss related to physical pain, stress, anxiety, and other psychological harm following an accident. In car accidents, damages for pain and suffering could stem from:
- Trouble sleeping
- Recurring memories of the accident
- Physical pain caused by injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
You could also be able to recover other damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, along with pain and suffering. However, in this guide, we will focus mainly on how we calculate and prove pain and suffering in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
How Do You Prove Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit or Insurance Claim?
In addition to proving the other driver’s negligence, you must show that their careless actions caused your injuries. In some cases, the other party may admit liability if they were driving while under the influence, for example, but other cases are not so clear-cut. As such, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim and prove your pain and suffering damages, which could include:
- Your testimony describing what you have endured and the harm you suffered
- Medical records
- Testimony from medical professionals
- Statements from family or friends
- Prescriptions for pain medication, sleeping pills, or other drugs you have needed to cope
- Evaluations from mental health providers
- Photographs or video of your injuries
Our lawyers can help you piece all the information and evidence together to prove to the other driver’s insurance company that their defendant caused your injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, can be challenging to calculate as they are subjective; therefore, they do not have a tangible economic value. For example, if a victim has PTSD after an auto accident, you cannot calculate their suffering by adding up documented bills or receipts.
Due to the subjective nature of pain and suffering, damages are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the claimant’s unique circumstances. As such, there is no quick answer or fixed dollar amount for what the other driver has to pay you for your pain and suffering.
Our car accident lawyers take the time to get to know our clients. In doing so, we can personally understand what you have been through and how your injuries and the accident have affected your life. We pair this information with the facts of your case to assess your non-economic damages.
Are Pain and Suffering Damages Capped in Ohio?
While there are no caps on economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages, pain and suffering damages are capped in Ohio. Per Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.18, you can recover up to $250,000 or three times your economic damages (whichever is greater), up to a maximum of $350,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.
There is an exception to this rule if your injuries are severe. Ohio law defines a severe injury as:
- Permanent and substantial physical deformity
- Loss of the use of a limb or a bodily organ system
- Physical injuries that permanently prevent an injured person from being independently able to care for themselves
Should I Handle My Pain and Suffering Case Without a Lawyer?
Pain and suffering damages often account for a considerable part of a settlement. Therefore, a lawyer can be a valuable ally in gathering evidence to prove your pain and suffering. Further, it can be difficult to know how much your pain and suffering damages could be worth and what types of pain and suffering qualify.
Managing a complex injury claim or lawsuit alone can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with the legal process, especially while recovering from your injuries. Our car accident attorneys can take on this legal responsibility for you and manage every aspect of your case.
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How Long do I Have to File My Pain and Suffering Case?
Injured people generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit per Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10.
Our Car Accident Lawyers Want to Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
The legal team at Bressman Law has been serving personal injury clients for more than 30 years. We go the extra mile to help accident victims recover the compensation they deserve and treat our clients like family.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about your legal options today. We are keen to hear from you.