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Understanding medical malpractice compensation caps in Ohio

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

The theory behind personal injury compensation is that it primarily serves to make an injury victim “whole” again. Viewed one way, this idea is pretty offensive. After all, no amount of compensation can make up for the consequences associated with serious, catastrophic or fatal injuries. Yet, viewed another way, it is a hopeful concept.

Although money alone can’t “make things right,” awarding as much compensation as is necessary to properly honor and reflect the extent of a victim’s losses is a respectful approach to victims’ rights. Unfortunately, not all injury victims across the U.S. are entitled to as much compensation as they rightly deserve.

What are damages caps?

There are three primary kinds of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits:

  • Economic: Compensation for objective financial losses that are easy to calculate
  • Non-economic: Compensation for subjective losses (like pain and suffering) that cannot be objectively calculated
  • Exemplary: Compensation awarded as punishment for particularly egregious conduct and/or to deter similar conduct in the future

A damage cap limits the amount of compensation that an injury victim can be awarded in one or more of these compensation categories.

Ohio’s medical malpractice damages caps

In Ohio, there are no caps imposed on so-called compensatory damages, also known as economic damages in personal injury cases. However, there are caps in place for both non-economic and exemplary damages. 

This means that, for example, even if an instance of medical malpractice has destroyed an individual’s physical and mental well-being, they will only be able to collect the amount of non-economic damages allowable by law, even if this amount doesn’t reflect the true extent of their losses. 

Understanding that there are caps in place in Ohio can help personal injury victims to understand and process that they may suffer some injustice if the compensation they’re rightfully owed is limited by state law.