A common reason for pursuing legal representation for a personal injury claim is to be reimbursed for the economic damages you suffer when you are injured at the fault of another person. These costs include medical bills, lost wages, among other expenses that an injured person pays as a result of an injury.
Yet, anyone who has sustained any type of injury, big or small, knows that injuries cost us more than just money to treat them. Injuries also cost us peace of mind, comfort, restful sleep, and/or the ability to live pain-free. These hassles can be even more frustrating when the initial injury was caused by the negligent act of another. In most personal injury claims in Ohio, personal injury plaintiffs are compensated for their medical expenses and their pain and suffering from the injury.
A common question that many of our personal injury clients ask us is how much money they should expect their case to resolve for, and how much will they be compensated for their pain and suffering. Since 2006, an Ohio Supreme Court Case, Robinson v. Bates, has largely helped determine the compensation that will be awarded to personal injury plaintiffs.
Robinson v. Bates allows the amount originally billed for the medical treatment and the amount actually paid by the insurer to be admitted into evidence to help prove the reasonable value of the medical treatment. The result of this evidence being admitted is that write-offs by medical providers and adjustments of bills through insurance contracts will not be considered by a jury in determining the actual amount of medical expenses incurred. Why? Because neither the plaintiff nor any third party actually had to pay these “written off” or adjusted amounts.
So, how does this “Robinson v. Bates number” affect one’s overall settlement amount in a personal injury claim? Robinson v. Bates ultimately lowers the amount that a personal injury plaintiff will be compensated for paying back his/her medical expenses. He/she will be compensated for the medical bills in an amount closer to the post-adjustment/post-write off amount rather than the original bill amount.
Additionally, data pulled from jury verdict research indicate there is some correlation between the amount of the bills and the resulting amount of non-economic compensation. Every case is different however and gone are the days of three times medical bills as a common ground for settlement. The compensation range that a personal injury claim falls within depends on the amount of medical treatment needed, the types of injuries suffered, and the total impact on the personal injury plaintiff’s life. Choosing your counsel and representation is more important than ever.
If you have suffered a personal injury that you believe may be the fault of another person or entity, call Lardiere McNair, LLC at (614) 534-1355, and schedule a free consultation. Our personal injury team will advise you on your options of being properly compensated for your medical expenses and your pain and suffering.