by John D. Holschuh Jr., Lawyer Referral Service Panelist
In medical malpractice cases in Ohio, the most you can recover for pain and suffering is $250,000 or three times your economic damages to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and a maximum of $ 1 million per occurrence. Special damages are medical bills or lost wages as a result of medical malpractice. Say, for example, your medical bills and lost wages due to medical malpractice total $100,000. Triple that number, and the most you could get for pain and suffering is $300,000.
If there has been a catastrophic injury or the loss of a limb or bodily organ, or something that prevents you from doing the activities of daily life, the numbers go to $500,000 per plaintiff and $1 million per occurrence. There is no limit on recovery for medical bills or lost wages. Again, these amounts are for medical malpractice cases only. The pain and suffering cap for other personal injury claims, such as auto accidents, differs.
In Ohio, there has been an issue as to the constitutionality of the current cap on the amount for medical malpractice damages. This issue has not been decided by the Ohio Supreme Court.
There are no set guidelines as to what is or what is not pain and suffering. It is strictly the amount a jury determines a person should be compensated for what he or she has been through.