Damage caps are the legal limits on the compensation you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. In the eyes of the law, these caps are there to promote predictability and fairness in personal injury cases. However, damage limitations can pose a significant challenge for the victims as they restrict the recoverable compensation.
Here is what you need to know about damage caps in Ohio if you are involved in a car accident and are considering pursuing compensation for the harm and losses suffered.
Not all damages are capped
Ohio law does not cap economic damages. These are the direct financial losses you suffered, such as medical bills, property damages and lost wages. However, for non-economic damages, some legal limits apply.
Non-economic damages constitute the non-monetary harm arising from the accident. They include pain and suffering, mental anguish and a reduced quality of life. Non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 or three times your economic damages, whichever is greater. However, you cannot recover more than $350,000 in non-economic damages with your car accident claim.
It is worth noting that non-economic damage caps do not apply if you suffer catastrophic injuries like a permanent physical deformity, the loss of use of a limb or injuries that permanently prevent you from independently caring for yourself or earning a livelihood.
Punitive damages, meant to punish the defendant for reckless conduct and deter future occurrences, are capped at three times the compensatory damages (the total of economic and non-economic damages).
Maximizing your recoverable compensation
While damage caps can limit the amount you can recover with your car accident claim, they should not daunt you. Presenting a solid case backed by strong evidence can significantly increase your chances of getting a deserving settlement.
Seeking legal guidance for an informed evaluation of your claim can help you understand your legal rights and options, empowering you to navigate the claims process confidently.