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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Car Accident in Ohio? - An Expert's Opinion

Personal injury lawyers use several techniques for calculating pain and suffering settlement for their victims. This includes considering both economic losses, such as medical bills, and pain and suffering damages or non-economic losses, which can be much more varied than many may expect. Today, we will dive deep into all these damages and how they can calculate a reasonable settlement for their clients.


What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?


The Ohio law explains all the non-economic damages someone can suffer after an accident, including pain and suffering. Some include losing the capacity to create and maintain relationships, losing a caregiver or partner, etc.


Although these losses are usually harrowing and can't be measured in something as simple as money, it is still crucial for victims to get compensation for their losses. Therefore, the car accident lawyer in Cincinnati must fight for the client's rights and hold the other party accountable for the consequences of the accident.


Other non-economic losses involve literal pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. However, no matter how little they may seem, they are still compensable, which is a legal term that indicates that the loss deserves a financial settlement.


Still, there is no clear definition of pain and suffering. Nonetheless, most Ohio personal injury lawyers prove these losses by performing mental and physical evaluations, as well as talking to the client's close friends and family.


Types of Pain and Suffering Damages

Physical Pain


Physical pain is the most straightforward way to identify pain and suffering. However, physical pain is a serious matter. It should be adequately taken care of by a physician to prevent permanent injuries, even if the pain is mild, as it can become chronic if the victim doesn't receive the medical treatment they need.


Victims should pay special attention to damage to their spine and head. This is because they may not feel the pain immediately after the accident, but it may become excruciatingly painful after some time has passed. Therefore, the defendant must pay for the victim's medical expenses and the endured pain.


Disfigurement


There is nothing more personal than people's faces. It makes up a large portion of their identity. If an accident caused someone to be permanently disfigured or sustain a catastrophic injury, it could lead to a lifetime of reduced life quality and emotional distress. They may not want to look at themselves in a mirror anymore or struggle with self-esteem, which can cause them to suffer from depression.


Physical Impairment


Accident victims could get injuries that prevent them from performing the same tasks they did before the accident, which could cause them to change something valuable for them, such as their work, a hobby, or their entire lifestyle. This is especially devastating if the person is a parent who needs to take care of their kids but can't anymore. The lack of the ability to engage in activities the way they did before will surely cause grief, depression, and disappointment.


Loss of Enjoyment of Life


Many consequences of accidents can cause people to lose the ability to enjoy life, which is something that everyone on this earth has the right to do. Sadly, an accident can cause such extreme pain that the victim will no longer enjoy their life as they used to.


Loss of Quality of Life


Another common consequence of accidents and injuries is the loss of the victim's quality or life. It is crucial to remember that injuries can result in people having special needs, such as having to use a wheelchair or, in the worst-case scenario, not being able to live without assistance.


Trauma


Let's imagine that the victim wasn't physically harmed during the accident. That doesn't mean they weren't mentally harmed. The shock of going through such a traumatic experience can cause terrible psychological consequences, such as PTSD, phobias, generalized anxiety, emotional suffering, etc., which are all common symptoms of complex trauma.


Shock


Another common psychological consequence of accidents is shock. This is a defense mechanism human bodies use to get through traumatic experiences, but that doesn't mean it eliminates the memory of what happened. In most cases, the memories always come back and trigger the person into deep states of sadness and anxiety.


Fear


Fear and anxiety are common side-effects of being in an accident, but in healthy individuals, fear isn't present every day at all times. Sadly, this can be the case for accident victims, who can get overwhelmed by anything that reminds them of the accident, potentially putting them at risk of dangerous situations because of the impulsivity that comes with being afraid.


Shame, Humiliation, and Embarrassment


Depending on the physical consequences caused by the accident, the victim could get strong feelings of shame, humiliation, and embarrassment, which can cause them to avoid certain activities they previously enjoyed to not increase these feelings.


Mental Suffering


All of the first-hand mental consequences of being involved in an accident can worsen over time if a specialist does not properly treat them. Some of the most common mental disorders caused by trauma include anxiety, sleep loss, PTSD, and depression, which will only increase the victim's pain and suffering.


Loss of Companionship


When a loved one dies in an accident, it is a terrible and painful thing to go through. If they had a spouse and/or children, it would permanently alter their lives. However, losing a friend also produces high mental distress, which is important to consider when calculating damages for pain and suffering.


Anger


Sometimes accidents don't end up in depression, as many people may think. Instead, the survivor could develop a raging anger issue because of the resentment towards everything that happened. This could result in a substance abuse problem, uncontrollable anger outbursts, and destructive actions. The victim will need years of psychological treatment to deal with these symptoms, which should also be included in the total settlement.


Depression


Depression is one of the most common long-term consequences of accidents, as getting injured can completely alter how a person interacts with the world and how they are perceived. Therefore, it is common for them to feel like there's no use in even trying to get better. This is an extremely serious mental health issue that takes thousands of people's lives every day, as it deteriorates all aspects of someone's life.


Grief


Finally, the last consequence on this list is grief, which is commonly associated with the tragedy of losing a loved one and having to miss them forever. However, people can feel grief for their lives before the accident, and it is a terrible and unpleasant feeling that should be taken seriously when calculating a settlement. However, grief isn't treated the same way in the whole country, as some states provide compensation for the emotional distress it causes. In contrast, others only allow victims to claim compensation for the suffering that would have happened while the person was still alive.


How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages for an Ohio Personal Injury Claim

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages for an Ohio Personal Injury Claim


Most personal injury attorneys use three standard methods to determine how much pain and suffering damages are worth.


The first technique is based on the pain and suffering degree, multiplying economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, by a three to five ratio. This technique works best when the damages sustained by the victim aren't too severe.


Then, we have the second technique for calculating non-economic damages, which consists of establishing a daily or per-diem fee for pain and suffering compensations. This technique is commonly used when the other party insists on negotiating the amount offered using the first technique. Many people underestimate the level of emotional distress that legal procedures can have on someone, so it is only fair that the defendant pays for the time the victim spends negotiating with them. Therefore, many personal injury cases establish an amount of money the defendant must pay each day until they reach a settlement.


Finally, the last technique to calculate pain and suffering damages is only used when the victim has highly debilitating and incapacitating injuries, which is to ask for the highest possible compensation. Ohio law states that the plaintiff can ask for up to $250,000, which is three times the total amount allowed to ask for economic damages. However, using this technique is rare, and it is only accepted when the accident causes the victim to be completely unable to care for themselves or results in an amputation. Moreover, with a good enough lawyer, the cap can be eliminated so that the victim can get as much money as they seem fair. A personal injury lawyer can also answer questions like, "Can I be sued for car accident Ohio?"


Hire Our Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer and Recover Your Non-economic Damages


Most people involved in personal injury cases are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering damages in addition to economic damages. Therefore, our expert lawyers are willing to speak to anyone who needs their help and offer a free consultation to determine how much their damages are really worth.

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