Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC
Following a car accident, an individual might find themselves saddled with exorbitant medical bills and insurance premiums. You should not have to shoulder the weight of that financial burden alone. You can pursue legal action and try to recover damages. An adept auto injury attorney with experience calculating damages in Toledo car accidents can give you an idea of what you can expect to recover. The lawyer can also help you collect the necessary evidence to build your car accident case. If you have been involved in a Toledo car accident, contact a lawyer today.
A misconception is that only a judge is responsible for calculating damages in Toledo car accidents. Non-economic damages are usually calculated by the judge or the jury and are the argument the person makes to the insurance company before the lawsuit. For example, a person is 25 years old and will walk with a limp the rest of their life and develop arthritis due to their injuries. Their life expectancy is 80 years, so the attorney argues that this individual has that impact on their life for the next 55 years.
Depending on the insurance limits, the attorney may argue that the compensation for the injuries is for 12 months a year for 55 years at a rate of $1,000 a month. Based on those facts, the attorney could argue that a jury should award over $600,000 for the permanent limp.
A jury can decide to award more or less money. When arguing a number to a jury, the attorney tries to make an argument that does not seem outrageous to a juror and seems reasonable under the circumstances.
Punitive damages are generally decided by a jury. The jury awards an amount of money they believe adequately punishes the individual or the company. As an example, when the at-fault party is a private individual who is independently wealthy or is a corporation that is extremely wealthy, the injured person usually receives a much larger award of punitive damages. When somebody is worth $10,000 and they must pay a punitive damage award of $3,000, that can be just as severe as awarding a $1,000,000 against a massive company.
The courts limit punitive damages to a percentage of the compensatory damages awarded. These cases typically go up to the court of appeals that decides whether the punitive damage award is too high under Ohio law. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in trials. Typically, an attorney uses the threat of punitive damages to settle cases because insurance companies are afraid of punitive damages. They are usually not required to pay the punitive damages under the insurance policy. But they have a duty to protect their insured and not set them up to be exposed to punitive damages.
An attorney can help in the recovery of damages by finding the insurance coverage. When a person has no auto insurance of their own but they live in a household where a blood relative has uninsured motorist coverage under Ohio law, there is a good chance the injured person can collect under the blood relative family member’s uninsured motorist coverage.
The lawyer can establish the theory of the case so the person can potentially sue parties that have deep pockets and make the case collectible. For example, the individual at fault for the accident has insurance coverage but they used a borrowed vehicle from somebody who has more insurance coverage and it was a negligent entrustment of the vehicle.
The attorney can help frame the case in such a manner to get insurance coverage from the deeper pocket individual. An experienced lawyer will have experience calculating damages in Toledo car accidents and can examine the facts of your case, and discuss what you can expect to recover. If you have been involved in a car accident, and are considering pursuing damages, get in touch with a car accident lawyer who can advocate for you.