To determine full, fair, and just compensation in a personal injury case, victims need to be adequately counseled and advised of all of the damage factors that are considered under Ohio law.
In this post, we’ll explore the basics for determining personal injury compensation in the state of Ohio.
Personal Injury Compensation Ohio
When determining full, fair and just compensation for you, the following can be considered under Ohio law (with regards to your actual losses):
1) all of your medical bills that directly relate to the injuries you sustained in the motor vehicle collision, slip and fall incident, or other personal injury incident;
2) all of your prescription bills; and
3) all of your lost wages.
One of the assumptions my clients sometimes wrongfully make is that they will be compensated for all of the actual charges that their doctors submit. Under Ohio law, victims are not compensated and paid in full for the actual charges submitted by their medical providers. They will only be paid for the contractual rate of the bills charged by their medical providers and accepted as payment in full. These medical bills paid by their health plans are often substantially less than the actual charges submitted by providers.
Another issue that all personal injury clients need to understand is that in all personal injury cases, their health plans and auto insurance carriers have a right to be paid back for all bills paid on their behalf.
This is extremely unfair because our clients pay premiums so that they can have coverage. In an auto accident case, for example, insurance companies should not have the right to recoup medical bills – but, unfortunately, they do. Despite this fundamental unfairness, Ohio law entitles the health insurance company and auto insurance company a right to recoup all medical bills paid on a client’s behalf related to the auto accident, slip and fall, or other personal injury incident. This is called a subrogation claim.
So, in summary, Ohio law permits victims to receive a reduced amount based on the negotiated amount with healthcare providers; but, clients also have to pay medical and auto insurance providers for any bills paid on their behalf. This does not fully compensate clients for all of their medical bills, which makes it extremely critical that we negotiate agreements with the health plans and auto insurance carriers to significantly reduce the amount of their subrogation liens. Doing so can help save clients the frustration of insurers recouping all of the medical bills paid on our clients’ behalf.
What are General Damages?
Clients are also entitled to be compensated fully for all of their general damages. In determining all of these general damages, the following can be considered under Ohio law.
1) the nature and extent of the injuries and their effect on your physical health;
2) the nature and extent of your physical pain;
3) the nature and extent of your physical impairment;
4) your anxiety and stress that include all of your concerns about your injuries and pain – including fears about future pain expected to occur;
5) a total or partial reduction in your activities that you enjoyed doing before the incident;
6) your inability to perform basic activities such as cleaning, climbing stairs, doing yard work, or caring for your pets;
7) the humiliation caused by the incident; and
8) any future medical expenses that resulted from the incident (if your injuries are permanent).
There is no mathematical formula to compensate for pain and suffering or disability. A jury will determine compensation for pain, suffering, and disability after considering medical evidence and the testimony of the victim and supporting witnesses.
Have a Question?
If you’re suffering from an injury or accident and need legal support, feel free to contact our office. We’re happy to help you.