If you are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit, then there are a lot of things that you will need to know before proceeding. Beyond the basic rules for how personal injury lawsuits work, you will also need to look at how your state handles such cases. In Ohio, here are some of the laws that you will need to deal with when filing:
You will need to file your lawsuit within a certain period of time or else it could get thrown out without even being looked at. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years, regardless of whether you are filing against a private entity or the government. You may get an extension if the injuries were not actually discovered until long after the accident, but you should talk to an attorney in such a situation to determine whether or not you have a shot at filing.
Ohio also has some pretty strict rules about how much money you can pursue.
If your injury does not fit the definition of a catastrophic injury, then your non-economic damages (pain and suffering) are capped at one of two criteria, either $250,000 or three times the size of your economic damages (like medical and auto repair bills). You will be granted the greater of the two, but there is a strict upper cap of $350,000. To help make this a little clearer, here are two examples:
- Your economic damages are $80,000. Therefore, your non-economic damages are capped at $250,000, since that is higher than three times your economic damages.
- Your economic damages are $200,000. Therefore, your non-economic damages are capped at $350,000. Even though three times your economic damages would be $600,000, that is much higher than the strict upper cap of $350,000.
What this ultimately means is that your effective range of non-economic damages is between $250,000 and $350,000.
You should also know that any punitive damages cannot exceed twice the value of your economic damages. If you are confused about which type of damage is which, then you should consider talking to a lawyer. A simple consultation can give you a good idea of what your lawsuit should look like and which types of damages you should really be pursuing. If you want to maximize your compensation, then the assistance of a lawyer (such as one from Tarkowsky & Piper Co., L.P.A.) could be well worth the cost.