Some insurance adjusters and lawyers use either the multiplier method or the daily rate method to calculate pain and suffering in Ohio.
Depending on whether you’re filing a claim or lawsuit, there may be caps on how much you can claim regarding your pain and suffering damages, which your personal injury lawyer can inform you of when reviewing your case.
When calculating pain and suffering damages in Ohio, some insurance adjusters will use one of the following methods:
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method calculates pain and suffering damages by multiplying the total sum of your economic damages, which are your financial-related damages, by a figure between 1.5 and 5.
The latter figure is the “multiplier” and is based on the severity of your pain and suffering. For example, if a car accident victim suffered a hand injury that healed within two weeks, insurance adjusters might use 1.5 to 2 as their multiplier. In contrast, a victim who sustained a spinal cord injury that resulted in total paralysis might have 5 as their multiplier. Other factors that might affect the multiplier include:
- The length of your recovery period
- Whether your injury is permanent or long-term
- Whether your injury affects your ability to perform regular tasks
- Whether your relationships were affected by your injury (e.g., forced your spouse into a caregiver role, which caused them to leave)
Some insurance companies have software that determines this amount.
The Daily Rate Method
The daily rate method is much simpler in contrast to the multiplier method, in that a specific daily rate is assigned for your pain and suffering. This rate then gets multiplied by the number of days you experienced pain and suffering.
For example, if you suffered a leg fracture after getting hit by a vehicle while riding your bicycle, you might apply the daily rate toward the length of your recovery. Figuring your pain and suffering damages might go as:
- Your leg fracture took eight weeks (56 days) to heal, not including physical therapy, which took an additional six weeks (42 days).
- The medical expenses for your leg fracture totaled $35,000.
- Your daily rate would be calculated by dividing your total medical expenses ($35,000) by the length of your recovery (98 days), which would equate to $357.14 per day in this example.
- However, there is no recognized mathematical formula under Ohio law, and determination of the amount is solely within the discretion of the jury.
How Much Can I Receive for Damages in Ohio?
One thing to be aware of is that Ohio places a statutory cap on non-economic damages in personal injury cases, as found in Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.18.
According to this statute, a plaintiff can pursue up to $250,000 or three times the total sum of your economic damages, whichever is up to $350,000.
Certain Exceptions to the Damage Cap May Apply
In cases involving catastrophic injuries, such as permanent and substantial physical deformity, there may be an exception to the damage cap.
If this applies to your case, your lawyer can seek greater compensation based on your injuries and gather evidence to support your claim.
Your Time Is Limited to Take Legal Action in Ohio
Another legal limit to keep note of is Ohio’s statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for how long plaintiffs have to pursue compensation through the civil court system. Depending on the type of lawsuit you are filing, the following statutory deadlines may apply. Although there are exceptions to each:
- Two years from the date of the accident for personal injury cases, per Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10
- Two years from the date of the victim’s death for wrongful death cases, per Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.02
Failure to comply with either of these deadlines could result in your case being dismissed by a judge, which would deprive you of your opportunity to pursue compensation.
Contact Us to Learn More About Calculating Pain and Suffering for Your Lawsuit
A lawyer at the Fitch Law Firm LLC can review your case to see how your pain and suffering should be calculated in accordance with Ohio law, then help you prepare your case against the appropriate party.
Call (614) 545-3930 to receive a free consultation today.