There are several things that are considered a catastrophic injury in a car accident in Ohio. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.18, these include:
- Permanent and substantial physical deformities
- The loss or paralysis of a limb
- The loss of an organ function
- The permanent loss of the ability to care for yourself and conduct life-sustaining activities
If you suffered an injury in an Ohio car accident, you have legal options. You may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party. Our car accident attorney can work with you.
Common Catastrophic Injuries
Having an injury that qualifies under this statute allows an accident victim to pursue an unlimited amount of compensation for their non-economic damages.
The Catastrophic Injury Threshold in Ohio
In personal injury cases in Ohio, there are general limits on how much compensation plaintiffs can recover for their non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. The only way to collect compensation beyond these limits is to demonstrate a catastrophic injury that qualifies under Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.19. These injuries are sometimes referred to as “catastrophic” injuries.
Without proof of a catastrophic injury, the non-economic damage limits in Ohio are $250,000 or three times the value of the plaintiff’s economic damages (whichever is greater). However, there is an ultimate non-economic damage limit of $350,000 per plaintiff or $500,000 per accident with multiple plaintiffs.
When catastrophic injuries occur, these limits on the plaintiff’s non-economic damage recovery are removed.
It can be hard to know whether your injury qualifies as a catastrophic injury in Ohio. Consulting with an attorney from our firm is a great way to determine your legal status and the options available for you in terms of pursuing compensation.
Available Damages in a Car Accident Case
There are many different kinds of damages that you may be able to receive in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The potentially recoverable economic damages in this type of case may include:
- Medical bills
- Estimated ongoing future medical care needs
- Medical equipment
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- Modifications to your home to accommodate your disability
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of income
- Property damage
The potentially recoverable non-economic damages in a car accident case may include:
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering
A lawyer from our firm can sit down with you to go over your injuries and damages and identify all of the legal claims that may be available to you and your family.
Proving Your Right to Compensation in Ohio
If you were hurt in a car accident, our firm can help you bring a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. There are typically four things that you will need to prove in order to be awarded compensation. These are known as the elements of liability.
- Duty: You must first show that the at-fault party owed you some type of duty of care.
- Breach: Next, you must prove that the at-fault party failed to meet this standard.
- Causation: You also have to prove that the at-fault party’s failure to provide you with a duty of care was the cause of your injuries.
- Damages: Finally, you must be able to justify the amount of compensation that you are requesting in the lawsuit.
There are many different ways that a driver can breach the duty of care. Often, a violation of a traffic law qualifies as a breach of duty. Drunk driving and distracted driving are also common forms of driver negligence.
Even if you do not know why the other driver caused the accident, you can still pursue compensation. One of the first things that your lawyer will do is conduct a diligent and thorough investigation into your claim to figure out what happened.
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Evidence in Car Accident Cases
There are many different types of evidence that a lawyer from our firm can collect to show that the other driver breached their duty of care and may owe you compensation. A few examples include:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police reports
- Video footage from nearby surveillance cameras
- Phone records
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Inspections of the vehicles involved in the crash
- Testimony from the other driver
- Consultations with an accident reconstructionist
While you focus on your recovery, a lawyer from our firm can work on your behalf to find every piece of available evidence.
What To Do if You Suffered a Severe Injury in an Ohio Car Accident
After a car accident, there are a few things you can do to help your case. These include:
- Remaining at the scene of the accident: Stay on the accident scene until police or the ambulance arrive. If you are seriously injured, you should not be moving around, as this can make your injury worse. In some cases, you may feel okay after suffering a severe injury because the adrenaline from the accident is hiding the pain. To ensure your condition does not worsen, wait for instruction from first responders.
- Following through with your treatment plan: After you visit a doctor, you should stick to the treatment plan they recommend. Take the prescriptions they advise you to take, and attend follow up appointments as necessary. Not only will this help you reach maximum recovery, but it will also prevent that at-fault party’s insurance company from trying to claim that you are not severely injured.
- Trying to remember how you feel: If you can remember how you feel throughout the healing process, our team can gain a better understanding of the pain and suffering you endured. Any information you can recall can help us calculate the cost of some of your non-economic damages. Keeping a journal of how you feel may help.
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The Fitch Law Firm LLC helps car accident victims in Columbus and other cities throughout Ohio fight for compensation whether their injuries qualify as serious or not. We believe that if another party’s negligence caused your accident, you should not have to deal with the financial toll all by yourself.
We offer a free consultation so that you can discuss your car accident case with one of our car accident attorneys. Call now to get started.
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