Ohio Compensation Caps for Car Accident Injuries

Ohio Compensation Caps for Car Accident Injuries

Typically, when you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, the allows you to seek recovery for the expenses you incurred as a direct result of that negligence. For instance, if your neighbor backs into your vehicle while it is sitting in your driveway, odds are you will be able to recover your vehicle repair expenses and even the costs of rental car while your vehicle is being fixed. The costs of repairing your vehicle and your rental fees are considered economic damages.

Economic damages basically pay you back for the money you spent, and will spend, on medical costs, and if you had to miss work because of an injury, your lost wages. There are no caps for economic damages in Ohio.

However, the state does have caps for noneconomic damages. This type of damages generally includes compensation for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and other types of injury that do not have a tangible value.

Ohio enacted tort reform with damage caps in 2004. In that regard, a personal injury noneconomic cap limits it to $250,000 or $350,000 if the economic damage is more than $300,000. There is no damage cap for catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injury is defined generally as the loss of the use of a body organ system, limb, or permanent scar.

Punitive damages may be awarded if the behavior of the defendant is so bad it calls for monetary punishment. These damages may also be awarded as warning to prevent other from committing the same type of offense. Ohio caps punitive damages at two-times compensatory damages (economic and noneconomic damages) unless the defendant is an individual or small business owner, in which case punitive damages are capped at 10 percent of the defendant’s net worth up to $350,000.

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