What Types of Damages Can I Claim in an Ohio Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The laws of Ohio allow a personal injury victim to seek multiple forms of compensation from the person or organization that injured them. The rules for seeking monetary damages apply to all types of personal injury cases, such as

  • Car and truck accidents
  • Motorcycle and scooter accidents
  • Pedestrian and bike crashes
  • Bus and train wrecks
  • Slips and falls
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dog bites and animal attacks
  • Electric shocks
  • Drownings
  • Dangerous and defective products
  • Assaults, which are also called intentional torts

People who have grounds for filing personal injury lawsuits can seek compensatory damages for economic losses and noneconomic damages. Depending on the circumstances, a victim may also be able to seek punitive damages.

Usually, a person hurt on the job can only recover for their injuries through the Ohio workers’ compensation system. However, if the injuries were caused by a third-party, the injured party may also have a negligence claim against that third-party. Consulting with an attorney who has experience handling workers’ comp claims and personal injury lawsuit will clarify whether pursing both legal options makes sense.

Explaining Compensatory Damages

Economic damages, which are also called compensatory damages, reflect the direct cost of recovering from an injury inflicted by another party’s negligence or recklessness. Items that Ohio law treats as economic damages include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Past and future medical bills for emergency care, surgeries, prescription medications, and therapy;
  • Loss of wages and future earning from time missed at work and a persistent disability;
  • Out-of-pocket expenses for goods and services related to recovering from the injury; and
  • Travel and relocation expenses related to seeking health care or making changes to where and how one lives.

Ohio does not impose a cap on economic damage settlements or jury awards.

Noneconomic damages, which are also called general damages for a personal injury, reflect the toll that an injury takes in terms of:

  • Physical pain and suffering,
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress, and
  • Loss of companionship

Except in cases involving catastrophic injuries, Ohio law imposes a cap on noneconomic damages to an individual that is the greater of $250,000 or three times the total of the economic damages. By statute—section 2315.18 of the Ohio Revised Code, specifically—a catastrophic injury is one that leaves the victim suffering a “permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system” or which “permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for self and perform life-sustaining activities.”

Explaining Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are noncriminal monetary penalties assessed against the person or organization that inflicted an injury. They are also called exemplary damages because they are meant to serve as an example of the price to be paid for acting without regard to others’ health, safety, and well-being.

Although punitive damages are not awarded in every case, when they are they are subject to caps as well. In Ohio, punitive damages are capped at twice the value of compensatory damages. If the defendant is an individual or a small employer, however, that cap is limited to 10% of their net worth, up to a maximum of $350,000.

What About Attorneys’ Fees?

Generally, a personal injury lawyer will take a percentage of the final settlement or court award as payment for services. If no recovery is made, there is no attorney fee. Attorneys with Barkan Meizlish, LLP, advise and represent plaintiffs in all types of personal injury cases throughout Ohio. We offer free consultations to potential clients, and we work hard to maximize recoveries of specific and general damages for personal injury victims. Call us at (614) 221-4221 or schedule an appointment online to learn what we can do for you.

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft if a Rideshare Driver Caused the Car Crash That Left Me Injured?

Yes, you can generally file a personal injury claim if a rideshare driver causes a traffic accident that injures you.

Despite a series of class action lawsuits, Lyft and Uber drivers remain classified as independent contractors rather than employees of the rideshare companies for which they work. As a result, rideshare drivers are generally required to carry at least two separate forms of car insurance that cover accidents involving injuries to passengers, pedestrians, bike riders, and people in other vehicles.

Typically, the at-fault Uber or Lyft driver will be the liable party, with the rideshare company being secondary/additional. However, certain factors, like if the negligent or reckless driver was acting as an employee of a rideshare company at the time of the accident, can alter who the liable party actually is. How your case will go largely depends on which of the following scenarios describes what happened.

Were You Injured While Riding as an Uber or Lyft Passenger?

Rideshare companies require their contract drivers to carry personal car insurance coverage. Additionally, rideshare companies commonly provide, and in most states are required to provide, approximately $1-million in insurance coverage. The additional $1 million policy can apply when passengers suffer injuries in crashes a rideshare driver caused.

How much an injured passenger can claim will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the injuries, the amount of the medical bills, and the number of injured people who have valid insurance claims. The final factor comes into play because the $1 million limit covers all crash victims.

Was the Uber or Lyft Driver En Route With a Passenger When They Hit You?

Under the laws of Ohio, pedestrian, motorcycle riders, and individuals in other vehicles may not have access to the full $1 million of injury liability coverage carried by Uber and Lyft drivers. Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced rideshare accident attorney will clarify how to maximize insurance settlements, and ensure all potential avenues of recovery have been investigated. Please contact Barkan Meizlish, LLP to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Did the Uber or Lyft Driver Have the App Open but No Passenger in Their Vehicle?

Rideshare drivers who are “available” and logged into the rideshare company’s app, but have not yet picked up a passenger, are generally covered by their Uber or Lyft policy for up to $100,000 in liability. The driver’s own personal insurance may provide coverage, as may underinsured motorist provisions of the injured person’s insurance. If you have been injured because of a negligent rideshare driver, you should contact the attorneys at Barkan Meizlish, LLP.

Did the Uber or Lyft Driver Have the App Closed and No Passenger in Their Vehicle?

Yes, you can generally file a personal injury claim if a rideshare driver causes a traffic accident that injures you.

Despite a series of class action lawsuits, Lyft and Uber drivers remain classified as independent contractors rather than employees of the rideshare companies for which they work. As a result, rideshare drivers are generally required to carry at least two separate forms of car insurance that cover accidents involving injuries to passengers, pedestrians, bike riders, and people in other vehicles.

Typically, the at-fault Uber or Lyft driver will be the liable party, with the rideshare company being secondary/additional. However, certain factors, like if the negligent or reckless driver was acting as an employee of a rideshare company at the time of the accident, can alter who the liable party actually is. How your case will go largely depends on which of the following scenarios describes what happened.

Were You Injured While Riding as an Uber or Lyft Passenger?

Rideshare companies require their contract drivers to carry personal car insurance coverage. Additionally, rideshare companies commonly provide, and in most states are required to provide, approximately $1-million in insurance coverage. The additional $1 million policy can apply when passengers suffer injuries in crashes a rideshare driver caused.

How much an injured passenger can claim will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the injuries, the amount of the medical bills, and the number of injured people who have valid insurance claims. The final factor comes into play because the $1 million limit covers all crash victims.

Was the Uber or Lyft Driver En Route With a Passenger When They Hit You?

Under the laws of Ohio, pedestrian, motorcycle riders, and individuals in other vehicles may not have access to the full $1 million of injury liability coverage carried by Uber and Lyft drivers. Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced rideshare accident attorney will clarify how to maximize insurance settlements, and ensure all potential avenues of recovery have been investigated. Please contact Barkan Meizlish, LLP to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Did the Uber or Lyft Driver Have the App Open but No Passenger in Their Vehicle?

Rideshare drivers who are “available” and logged into the rideshare company’s app, but have not yet picked up a passenger, are generally covered by their Uber or Lyft policy for up to $100,000 in liability. The driver’s own personal insurance may provide coverage, as may underinsured motorist provisions of the injured person’s insurance. If you have been injured because of a negligent rideshare driver, you should contact the attorneys at Barkan Meizlish, LLP.

Did the Uber or Lyft Driver Have the App Closed and No Passenger in Their Vehicle?

When a rideshare driver is neither available to take passengers nor actually working for Uber or Lyft, their own car insurance policy generally applies to any crash they cause.

So, when can Uber or Lyft be sued if the driver was not actually working for the rideshare company at the time of the accident/injury? A few of the situations in which a rideshare company could be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit are when:

  • The company allowed a driver to operate without carrying the required coverages.
  • The company contracted with a driver who has a criminal history of driving under the influence and the wreck involved drunk or drugged driving—a situation described as “negligent employment.”
  • The company contracted with a driver who had a criminal history of sexual or physical assault and the driver assaulted you while you were a passenger.

Before you file an Uber or Lyft driver lawsuit in Ohio, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney at Barkan Meizlish, LLP. Personal injury claims involving rideshare companies and drivers are complex and can be difficult. We are committed to straightening out the complexities of rideshare accidents, and we offer free consultations to potential clients. You can speak with a lawyer by calling (614) 221-4221 or schedule an appointment online.

What Evidence Is Needed for a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit in Ohio?

Succeeding with a traumatic brain injury lawsuit (TBI) in Ohio requires presenting two types of evidence. The first type establishes the direct link between someone else’s negligence or recklessness and the traumatic brain injury. The second establishes the extent and compensability of the Ohio traumatic brain injury.

“Compensability” is lawyer-speak for “deserving compensation.” Compensation for a TBI can include past and future medical care costs, disability, lost income, pain and suffering, and non economic losses like being unable to care for children and fulfill the duties of a spouse.

Examples of Negligence in Traumatic Brain Injury

Each case requires its own specific evidence, but providing general examples is possible. For instance, a driver who causes a car crash that leaves a person in another vehicle suffering from a TBI would be negligent or reckless. Similarly, a patient who suffers a loss of oxygen during a surgery could possible be due to an anesthesiologist’s negligence.

Importantly, Ohio courts recognize the legal principle of comparative negligence. This means that, in order to succeed with an insurance claim or civil lawsuit, a TBI victim only needs to prove that the defendant bears 51 percent or more of the responsibility for inflicting the brain injury. Compensation may be reduced to reflect the amount of responsibility shared by the victim.

Showing That a Negligent or Reckless Act Inflicted a Traumatic Brain Injury

The evidence that a person suffered a TBI can be very clear-cut. For instance, almost no one will doubt that a fall or a crash caused by a truck driver that results in a fractured skull could seriously injure a person’s brain. Likewise, a person who becomes paralyzed or requires assistance with activities of daily living—getting in and out of bed, brushing one’s teeth, dressing—should encounter minimal push back when claiming to suffer from a traumatic brain injury.

However, closed head injuries can draw questions from insurance company representatives and jurors. In a case where legitimate doubts about the existence of a traumatic brain injury can be raised, the person who files an insurance claim or traumatic brain injury lawsuit can rely on:

  • Diagnoses from doctors and medical specialists like neurologists;
  • Assessments by occupational therapists and vocational experts;
  • Examinations by psychologists and psychiatrists; and
  • Testimony from friends, family members, and co-workers.

Statements made by the people who know the traumatic brain injury victim best will carry a lot of weight. The changes a person undergoes following a traumatic brain injury can be profound even if they are not immediately apparent.

Traumatic brain injury symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches;
  • Tingling and numbness in different parts of the body;
  • Mood swings that run the gamut from deep depressions to uncontrollable rages;
  • Difficulties forming and retaining new memories;
  • Problems understanding and communicating ideas; and
  • Trouble remembering to take care of oneself by, for instance, eating and bathing.

Loved ones and close companions can speak powerfully about these often hidden TBI symptoms that also take a toll on them.

Assistance From an Ohio Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Our experience in advising and representing traumatic brain injury victims in Columbus and across the state of Ohio is that insurance companies will try to minimize or deny settlements for even the most obvious brain injuries. This unfortunate reality makes gathering, organizing, and presenting clear, convincing evidence from experts and the individuals who live and work with the brain injury victim doubly important.

If you or your family needs help with a traumatic brain injury lawsuit case, let our Columbus traumatic brain injury lawyers know how we can be of service. We offer free consultations on all types of personal injury claims, and we take appointments online. You can also speak with an attorney at Barkan Meizlish, LLP, by calling (614) 221-4221.

What Compensation Can I Receive for My Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are some of the most catastrophic injuries that a person can suffer. This fact is only compounded if a TBI occurred as a result of another’s negligent or reckless behavior. Do not let your TBI go without receiving compensation from the responsible party. Contact the legal professionals at Barkan Meizlish, LLP to help protect your interests and obtain the compensation you deserve. Our experienced legal team has the knowledge and expertise to achieve justice for your injury.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. are suffering from lifelong disabilities caused by traumatic brain injury. In each of these cases, the person who is suffering from the injury will have a drastically altered life that is filled with frequent medical appointments, possible reduced mobility and quality of life. If you have been involved in an accident or medical incident that has led to a TBI, there are actions you can take to ensure that you are compensated for your injury.

Here are some common incidents in which TBIs typically occur:

  • Car Accidents — A large percentage of traumatic brain injuries come as a result of car crashes. High-impact accidents can often result in internal collisions of the brain and the skull, which can cause traumatic brain injuries. If you were injured in car accident that was the fault of a negligent or reckless person, contact the traumatic brain injury attorneys at Barkan Meizlish, LLP.
  • Falls — An alarmingly large number of TBI cases are a direct result of falls. These incidents, too, can be caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior. Businesses could not properly warn you of a wet floor or properly clear their walkways of snow and ice leading to a fall. If this applies to you, contact the traumatic brain injury attorneys at Barkan Meizlish, LLP.
  • Assaults — Personal violent attacks also account for a number of traumatic brain injuries. If you have been assaulted, you can hold your attacker liable for the injury you have suffered. Contact the traumatic brain injury attorneys at Barkan Meizlish, LLP.

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another’s behavior, we can pursue litigation so that you can received compensation for the following:

  • Medical Bills — The medical procedures that follow a severe injury are expensive. If you were injured as a result of another party’s negligence, you can receive compensation for your medical bills.
  • Future Medical Care — With a substantial, severe injury like a TBI, your expenses likely will not end with initial treatment. You will often need further rehabilitation and medical care. You can receive compensation for the future expenses.
  • Lost Wages and Earning Ability — After such a dramatic injury, your life likely will no longer be the same. This includes your ability to earn a living. We will seek compensation for current lost wages as well as your diminished ability to earn a living following the injury.

Contact Us

If you are injured as a result of another’s negligence, then you should understand your options for pursuing compensation. Our dedicated, professional legal staff can help answer any questions about TBIs or other personal injuries. The Columbus traumatic brain injury attorneys with Barkan Meizlish, LLP are skilled and experienced in helping clients.

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