Archive for July, 2019

Birth Injury Compensation Claim Cleveland, Ohio

What Compensation Is Available for Birth Injuries in Cleveland, Ohio?

Just realizing that you may have grounds for filing a childbirth injury lawsuit in Cleveland will be devasting. Your newborn suffered harm because someone on the labor and delivery team apparently made an avoidable mistake. You know you have legal rights to hold a health care provider and health care facility accountable, but do you really want to add the burden of a fighting through a lengthy birth injury lawsuit to your already overwhelming job of creating the best life for your baby?

Adding to the stress of answering this difficult question, Ohio enforces a one-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. As a parent, you must decide whether to take legal action against an OB/GYN, nurse, anesthesiologist, clinic, or hospital during the first 12 months of your injured child’s life—the period that is most stressful for all parents and newborns.

Reaching out to a caring personal injury lawyer at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman can help you determine what is best for you and your baby. One thing to consider is which types of compensation and monetary damages will be available if you file a medical malpractice insurance claim or pursue a civil lawsuit.

Ohio permits parents or guardians who seek birth injury compensation to claim economic and noneconomic damages on behalf of their baby and themselves. For the child, settlements or jury awards can include money for:

  • Past medical care,
  • Ongoing medical care,
  • Physical and occupational therapy,
  • Personal assistance,
  • Medical equipment such as a wheelchair or walker,
  • Loss of lifetime earnings,
  • Disfigurement (e.g., scarring, missing a limb),
  • Physical pain,
  • Emotional suffering,
  • Mental anguish, and
  • “Intangible losses,” which the relevant state statute lists as including, but not limited to, “loss of society, consortium, companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, or education.”

A birth injury attorney can give you the exact definitions of those legal terms for intangible losses. The practical result of losing society and the rest is that the child will not be able to fully or easily enjoy the best things in life, like forming meaningful friendships, excelling in school, or forming a family of his or her own.

Parents or guardians of children who suffer physical or brain injuries during labor and delivery can separately claim compensation and damages for:

  • Expenditures related to securing medical care, therapy, and assistance for the child, including travel and relocation; and
  • Loss of society, consortium, companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, or education.

Meeting with an attorney will let you know if you have a strong claim for birth injury compensation. Cleveland birth injury lawyer will also be able to explain how to collect, organize, and present evidence that supports your case.

If you have additional questions about birth injury compensation and childbirth injury lawsuits in Cleveland, call us at (800) 678-3318 to schedule a free consultation. We also take appointments online, and we welcome opportunities to help families hold negligent health providers and health care facilities to account.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in an Ohio Personal Injury Claim

As personal injury attorneys in Cleveland, we use a few different methods to calculate fair and reasonable settlements pain and suffering damages. Before we get into those details, allow us to explain why our clients deserve cash awards for what state law calls “noneconomic losses” from injuries inflicted by traffic accidents, medical malpractice, slips & falls, or defective and dangerous products.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages in Ohio?

Section 2316.18 of the Ohio revised Code lists pain and suffering as one item in a list of noneconomic losses that can be suffered by accident victims. Other noneconomic losses can include loss of consortium (i.e., sex with a spouse), loss of society (i.e., the ability to make and sustain friendships and family relationships), and loss of protection, advice, guidance, and counsel (i.e., acting as a parent or caregiver).

Even though an exact price tag cannot be attached to something like parenting, becoming unable to do that definitely represents a significant loss. The person or organization who is responsible for causing the loss should certainly be held accountable.

Physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish can trigger the other types of noneconomic losses, but they are also compensable in their own rights. “Compensable” is the word personal injury lawyers use to mean “meriting a monetary award.”

Pain and suffering do not have precise legal definitions. Assessments from health care providers and mental health specialists provide convincing evidence. Testimony from friends, family members, and accident victims themselves also carry weight in establishing the experience of pain and suffering.

Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages in Ohio

Personal injury lawyers have three basic ways to calculate pain and suffering damages:

  • Multiplying economic damages for medical expenses and lost wages by a factor of 3 to 5 that reflects the severity of pain and suffering;
  • Setting a daily, or per diem, pain and suffering rate; or
  • Seeking the maximum pain and suffering award allowable under Ohio law.

The first method works best when an accident victim incurs relatively low economic losses but experiences significant pain and suffering. For instance, medical bills totaling $11,000 could serve as the basis for a $55,000 pain and suffering damages award when the accident victim develops PTSD or a chronic pain syndrome.

The per diem method can work when it appears that settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company intends to drag out settlement negotiations. Waiting for a personal injury case to resolve inflicts its own special kinds of emotional distress and mental stress. Charging the insurer, say, $100 for each day that a negotiated settlement is not reached compensates the accident victim and applies pressure on the insurer to act quickly and in good faith.

The final method of demanding a maximum pain and suffering award is used when a client’s injures are severe and disabling. Except in specific cases, Ohio law caps noneconomic damage awards at $250,000 or three time the total economic damages award. The cap is removed when an injury leaves the victim completely unable to care for themselves, causes the amputation of an arm or leg, or leaves behind major, visible scars.

Most personal injury victims can claim pain and suffering damages. Consulting with an experienced and caring plaintiff’s attorney in the Cleveland offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman will help determine what a fair award would be. To set up an appointment, connect with us online or call (800) 678-3318. The first meeting will cost you nothing.

Cleveland OH Workers Comp Lawyer
Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman
6100 Oak Tree Blvd., Suite 200, Cleveland Ohio 44131 USA
Tel: (216) 328-2125 Fax: (614) 221-7308 Map