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What are damage caps in Ohio and what does this mean for a personal injury claim?

After an accident that causes a personal injury, victims may want to make a claim against the at-fault party. Accident victims may be surprised to learn there is a limit on the amount of money that a victim can receive for compensation for damages. This limit is known as a “damage cap.”

Ohio law limits the compensation someone can receive from an accident. In this post, we will look at how much those limits are.

What exactly is a damage cap?

A damage cap is a law that places a maximum payout on a claim for personal injury. Ohio law says a victim’s damages “shall not exceed the greater of $250,000 or an amount that is equal to three times the economic loss.” Economic loss usually consists of medical bills and lost wages from missing employment due to being injured.

Non-economic damages cannot be more than $350,000 for an individual. Non-economic damages are more commonly referred to as compensation for “pain and suffering.”

There are exceptions, however. State law in Ohio says the noneconomic cap does not apply to compensation if someone has sustained an injury which includes:

  • Permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system, or
  • Permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for self and perform life-sustaining activities

When determining this dollar amount, the law says courts cannot consider:

  • Evidence of a defendant’s alleged wrongdoing, misconduct, or guilt
  • Evidence of a defendant’s wealth or financial resources
  • Evidence that is offered for the purpose of punishing the defendant

The current Ohio law went into effect in 2005.

Do you have questions?

If you have questions about this issue, contact an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney.