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Are There Caps on Auto Accident Settlements in Ohio?

February 8, 2021

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If you were recently injured in an auto accident, you’re likely in serious pain, have big medical bills piling up (with more on the way), and you may be unable to work for several more weeks or even months. You need a lot of money to keep up with your accident-related expenses, but how much are you allowed to get if you file a personal injury claim in Ohio?

When it comes to economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, there are no caps for personal injury lawsuits, including auto accident claims.

However, there is a limit on the amount of money you can recover for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering:

  • $250,000 in general
  • Or 3x your economic damages up to $350,000 per person and $500,000 per accident

These caps are a result of the state’s tort reform laws, which were passed in 2005 to limit damages that can be awarded to injury victims. In addition, punitive damages—which are damages designed to punish guilty parties rather than compensate victims (although this type of damage is still paid to victims)—are also capped at 10% of the net worth of the at-fault party if it’s a small business or individual, with a maximum payout of $350,000.

Catastrophic Injuries Are Exempt from Damage Caps

Some injuries are so devastating that even Ohio’s tort reform laws allow victims a chance to recover as much compensation for their pain and suffering as they need. Victims who suffer the following types of catastrophic injuries aren’t subject to damage caps for their non-economic damages:

  • Permanent or substantial physical deformity or disability, including a lost limb
  • Permanent physical injury that makes them incapable of caring for themselves, such as paralysis

Because the definition of a “catastrophic” injury can be subjective, it’s vital to have a law firm building your claim, so that the insurance company knows exactly what you’ve suffered and how the injury affects your life.

No Limit on Economic Damages Means It’s Even More Important to Get a Lawyer

The economic damages associated with auto accidents can be enormous. Thankfully, Ohio’s lack of a cap on these damages means that we can pursue full compensation for you based on your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages.

For example, some victims may need multiple surgeries and prolonged stays in the hospital. Afterward, they may need physical rehabilitation to relearn how to walk, dress themselves, and do other basic tasks. And they may be unable to work for the rest of their lives. If their damages were capped, there’s little chance they would get enough money to fully compensate them for what they’ve gone through.

However, bigger claims often mean more pushback from the insurance company. That’s why having a lawyer on your side is so important. Our Ohio auto accident lawyers will work hard to build a claim that the insurance company can’t deny, while also doing everything we can to get you a fair settlement that covers your bills and losses.

Let Us Help You Get ALL the Money You Deserve

Although there are no caps on economic damages in Ohio, and the cap on non-economic damage allows up to $350,000 in compensation, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get a settlement that’s anywhere close to that—especially if the insurance company gets its way. Even victims who suffer catastrophic injuries that result in profoundly reduced quality of life and huge medical bills still face uphill battles when it comes to settlements.

Our Cleveland car accident lawyers know how to build claims that insurance companies can’t ignore, and we know how to negotiate to improve our clients’ chances of getting maximum compensation. Don’t risk ending up with a settlement that isn’t enough—or even no settlement at all. Contact Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy today for a free consultation.

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