This page looks at settlement amounts and jury payouts in personal injury cases in Ohio. Our lawyers also provide an analysis of Ohio personal injury law.
If you are a personal injury victim bringing a compensation claim in Ohio, you want to know the possible range of settlement payouts for your claim. Why? Because money compensation is what a personal injury or wrongful death claim is ultimately about.
This page is designed to look at how personal injury cases have been resolved in Ohio and to give you the ability to match your claim with Ohio personal injury settlement statistics and example settlements and jury payouts.
But.. this is treacherous water. You cannot compare two similar cases and expect the results to be similar. No two cases are alike, and sometimes what drives the settlement payout of a case is not understood in a summary of the case. Still, does looking at comparable cases and statistics give you more information about the possible value of your injury claim? Of course it does. That is why we put this information up and why you came to the page, even with all the caveats about how statistics, sample settlements, and verdicts are of limited value.
Ohio Jury Payout Statistics
Jury Verdict Research published a recent study indicating that the average verdict in personal injury lawsuits in Ohio is $303,955. The median personal injury verdict in Ohio is only $13,000. Approximately three percent of Ohio personal injury verdicts exceed $1,000,000.
The study does not show jurisdictional differences. But Ohio is like a country when it comes to settlement value. Jury payouts and settlement amounts will be higher in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Akron than in more rural parts of Ohio.
Recent Settlements and Verdicts in Ohio
- 2022, Ohio: $6,000,000 Verdict. A tree branch fell in an 85-year-old woman’s backyard during a storm. It landed on an electric line. The woman’s neighbor reported the fallen branch to the power company. Five hours later, no company representative arrived to address this issue. The woman contacted the power company. A phone representative told her not to worry and that she could go back to sleep. Several hours later, the woman woke up to a fire. She had no working smoke detector. The woman tried to escape. However, she died from smoke inhalation. The woman’s family alleged negligence against the power company. They claimed its employees failed to timely arrive and address the fallen tree branch. The Washington County jury awarded $6,000,000. It is hard to fathom why the power company let this case go to a jury.
- 2022, Ohio: $1,275,000 Verdict. A woman drove along I-90 in Cuyahoga County. She slowed down for traffic caused by tree removal. The woman was rear-ended, and she suffered back and pelvis injuries in the car accident. The woman alleged negligence against the at-fault driver and the tree removal company. She claimed the driver excessively sped and operated his vehicle while intoxicated while the tree removal company failed to warn of the lane closure. The Cuyahoga County jury awarded $1,275,000. Why not just sue the drunk driver? Car insurance policies are usually limited, and companies have deeper pockets and deeper insurance.
- 2021, Ohio: $40,384 Verdict. A woman rode with her husband. They were struck by a reversing vehicle. The woman injured her neck, shoulder, arm, and hip. She and her husband alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. They claimed he failed to keep a proper lookout while reversing his vehicle. The Cuyahoga County jury awarded $40,384.
- 2021, Ohio: $58,000 Verdict. A woman was T-boned at an intersection. She injured her head, neck, and back. The woman alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. She claimed she ran a red light and failed to yield at an intersection. The Cuyahoga County jury awarded $58,000.
- 2021, Ohio: $108,000 Verdict. A woman shopped at Kroger. She slipped and fell over a puddle. The woman suffered a left patella fracture. One week later, the woman underwent an open reduction internal fixation procedure. She subsequently underwent physical therapy for three months. The woman sustained a six-inch knee scar. She also experienced limited leg mobility. The woman alleged negligence against Kroger. She claimed its employees failed to clean the puddle and warn customers of hazardous conditions. The Licking County jury awarded $108,000.
- 2021, Ohio: $250,000 Settlement. A 27-year-old man attended a law enforcement class at a community college. He and his classmates received firearm instruction at a shooting range. One of his classmates cleaned his loaded handgun during a break. He placed it on the table. The gun accidentally discharged. A bullet struck the man and exited his ribcage. He suffered spleen, liver, and kidney injuries. The man also suffered a collapsed lung. He alleged negligence against the community college. The man claimed the instructors failed to supervise his classmate. This case settled for $250,000.
- 2021, Ohio: $2,000,000 Verdict. A 40-something woman suffered severe mid-back pain. She presented to the ER. The woman was diagnosed with a back strain. She was discharged. Over twelve hours later, the woman could not walk. She was brought to a different hospital. The woman was diagnosed with a hematoma. She underwent a hematoma evacuation. The woman developed another hematoma. She underwent a second evacuation. The woman was hospitalized for seven days. She then underwent inpatient physical therapy for three weeks. The woman subsequently underwent several months of outpatient occupational and physical therapy. She developed residual flank pain and bowel and bladder dysfunction. The woman alleged negligence against the hospital. She claimed its staff failed to properly diagnose her condition and timely remove the hematoma. The Lucas County jury awarded $2,000,000.
- 2020, Ohio: $115,000 Settlement. A 78-year-old nursing home resident was found unresponsive in the facility’s dining room after choking on a piece of chicken. He had a medical history of swallowing difficulties and was missing several teeth. After being found, the man was brought to the hospital, where he died within a few hours. His estate sued the facility for leaving him unsupervised as he ate. Their expert dietician testified that she found many standard of care violations throughout the facility. The facility contended that they found no signs of swallowing difficulties and argued that the man’s dysphagia improved before he was admitted there. This case settled for $115,000.
- 2020, Ohio: $60,625 Verdict. A 45-year-old paralegal suffered soft-tissue injuries to her neck, lower back, and shoulder after her vehicle was rear-ended. She underwent multiple treatments, including chiropractic, physical, massage, and acupuncture therapy. The woman also received steroid injections in her neck. Her neck and back injuries would eventually resolve, but her shoulder injuries became permanent. Her treating orthopedic surgeon opined that she would need future arthroscopic surgery. The woman settled with the driver’s liability carrier, USAA, for $25,000. However, she sued her UIM carrier, State Farm, who offered to pay $5,000 in medical bills, which she felt was insufficient. The Franklin County jury awarded her $60,625.29. Her net recovery was $30,625.29, based on the liability settlement and the previous medical expenses.
- 2020, Ohio: $52,127 Verdict. A man was a passenger in his employer’s truck, which was rear-ended by a vehicle. He suffered undisclosed injuries. The man sued the driver for failing to maintain an appropriate distance. He sought compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. The other driver contested liability, disputing the cause and extent of the man’s injuries. A Hamilton County jury ruled in favor of the man, awarding him $52,127.
- 2019, Ohio: $101,524 Verdict. A man suffered unspecified injuries after an uninsured driver struck his vehicle. He sued both the driver and his UIM carrier, Progressive. The man sought compensation for his injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages. He alleged that Progressive was required to pay him under his policy’s terms. They denied these allegations and claimed that his policy with Progressive was excess coverage. The Cuyahoga County jury awarded him $101,524.
- 2019, Ohio: $4,000,000 Verdict. A man got into a verbal dispute with a tavern bartender that escalated. He then got into a verbal altercation with a 370-pound bouncer, who hip-checked and slammed the 180-pound man onto the floor, landing on top of him. He suffered a humerus fracture that necessitated open reduction internal fixation surgery. His hardware became infected and was surgically removed. The man claimed he suffered permanent pain and had difficulty lifting his arm above his shoulders. He could no longer work as a union insulator. The man sued the bar for failing to properly train the bouncer to de-escalate a situation. An Ottawa County jury awarded him $4,000,000.
- 2018, Ohio: $300,000 Verdict. A man was admitted to a hospital for treatment of his Parkinson’s. He experienced swallowing difficulties as a result. A nurse administered ten different medications orally. One of the capsules got caught in his windpipe. The staff could not dislodge it for several hours. He eventually died of asphyxiation. His estate sued the hospital, alleging that one of their nurses breached the standard of care. They also alleged that the nurse failed to properly administer the man’s medications. The Erie County jury awarded a $300,000 payout.
- 2017, Ohio: $209,047 Verdict. A married couple came to a stop in traffic on I-270. An uninsured driver was behind them and struck their vehicle. This impact pushed them into the vehicle in front of them. The wife suffered severe unspecified injuries. Besides the driver, they sued their insurer for uninsured motorist coverage. The Franklin County jury awarded them $209,047.
- 2016, Ohio: $28,745,991 Verdict. A couple arrived at the hospital for their son’s birth. During labor, hospital staff placed a fetal heart monitor whose strips were initially reassuring. However, they deteriorated as labor went progressed. The couple alleged that neither the obstetrician nor the nurses intervened. Their son was not breathing after birth and needed to be resuscitated. He was then transferred to a Children’s Hospital for further care. The baby suffered from oxygen deprivation and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The family received a $28,745,991 verdict.
- 2015, Ohio: $2,700,000 Verdict. A married couple was riding on their trike. Its right-rear axle broke, causing the vehicle to go off-road and strike a ditch. The impact threw the couple into the air. The husband became paralyzed from the chest down and died 40 days later. His widow suffered fractures to her legs, arms, and ribs. She underwent five surgeries to treat her injuries. The estate sued the business that made and sold the axle. They alleged that the axle was of poor quality. The state showed evidence that the axle was not heat-treated, which violated industry standards. The jury awarded $2,700,000. This consisted of $1,033,000 to the widow and $1,042,000 for survivorship to the decedent.
- 2013, Ohio: $5,250,000 Settlement. The plaintiffs, two parents, file suit after their infant son is born. As in many of these birth injury claims, the child was deprived of oxygen at birth. Mom presented to the hospital at 3:20 p.m. She is in early labor. Her OB/GYN left her with a second-year resident. The baby looked good. Her fetal tracings were fine until midnight. For the next four hours, conservative intrauterine resuscitative measures had been taken in response to the non-reassuring tracings. At 4:50 a.m., the fetal monitor flatlined, and an emergency C-section was performed. The infant was born at 5:10. Mom and Dad file suit, alleging both doctors were negligent in failing to perform a more timely C-section, leading to complete oxygen deprivation. The case was bifurcated and after the court found the hospital and doctor to be negligent. The parties negotiated a $5,250,000 settlement.
- 2013, Ohio: $400,854 Verdict. A 47-year-old probation officer in Ohio files a medical malpractice suit against Defendant, the University of Toledo Medical Center. A loss of consortium claim is included on behalf of the victim’s husband. After a two-year history of pain in the right upper extremity, an EMG revealed evidence of right cubital tunnel syndrome. Transposition of the ulnar nerve was performed. During the surgery, the ulnar nerve was transected. Post-operatively, she continued to treat for pain. She reported hypersensitivity in her hand and difficulty at work. After treatment and management of complex regional pain syndrome with stellate ganglion blocks, and a regimen of physical therapy, she underwent a second surgical procedure. As a result, she resigned from her job as a probation officer due to her inability to keep up with her work duties. She filed suit claiming permanent complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), hypersensitivity, and difficulty sleeping. The court determined she should have been able to continue working and declined to award lost wages. They awarded $250,000 to her for past and future pain and suffering and $854 for out-of-pocket medical expenses. The husband was awarded $150,000 for loss of consortium. The total judgment was $400,853.88 plus a $25 filing fee.
- 2010, Ohio: $75,000 Verdict. A 60-year-old retiree was awarded $75,000 for pain and suffering from being injected with the wrong patient’s blood. During a routine nuclear stress test, the Plaintiff was hooked up to an IV for injection of medications. The defendant failed to check Plaintiff’s wristband and injected her with a blood mixture from the patient in the adjoining room. The blood had not been screened for blood-borne diseases. Ultimately, there was no evidence of infection, and Plaintiff did not suffer the rejection of the blood, therefore, the Defendants denied liability because Plaintiff did not suffer an injury. The jury disagreed but did not award a great deal of money.
- 2010, Ohio: $196,000 Verdict. A 42-year-old homemaker was awarded $195,500 due to a common bile duct injury requiring additional repair surgery. Plaintiff underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy during which the Defendant surgeon mistakenly clipped and removed a portion of her common bile duct. Defendant claimed that a common bile duct injury is a known risk and complication of the procedure. An Ohio jury sided with the Plaintiff and awarded her $196,500 for pain and suffering and $70,000 for past medical expenses. The total verdict was $196,500.
Please don’t read too much into these verdicts and settlements as a path to calculate the value of your own claim. But these are educational and informational and can shed light on the value of your case.
Ohio Personal Injury Law
Below are some of the most relevant portions of Ohio personal injury law for victims:
Ohio Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date the injury occurred. This means that if you were involved in an accident or suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit in court.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a government employee or entity caused the injury, the statute of limitations is only 180 days. Additionally, if the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations is tolled, or paused, until they turn 18 years old, at which point they have two years to file a lawsuit.
Generally, the exceptions to the statute of limitations – that can help or harm victims – are long enough to burn many trees. So be careful. One exception to the general rule is medical malpractice lawsuits.
The Ohio Savings Statute is a law that allows a plaintiff to refile a lawsuit that has been dismissed without prejudice within a certain period of time. Specifically, Ohio Revised Code section 2305.19 states that if a plaintiff’s lawsuit is dismissed for any reason other than on its merits, the plaintiff has one year from the date of dismissal to refile the lawsuit. So if a plaintiff loses a lawsuit for any reason other than the merits of their case or if their judgment is overturned on appeal, they may file a new lawsuit within one year of the ruling or within the original statute of limitations, whichever is later. This rule also applies to any claims made by the defendant in their defense.
This statute is a great law that elevates substance over form. It aims to provide plaintiffs with a second chance to pursue their claims in court if their case was dismissed due to a procedural issue, such as a mistake in the filing process, rather than a substantive issue with the case itself.
This does not apply to all claims in Ohio so you want to review the statute cited above.
Malpractice Statute of Limitations Is One Year
R.C. 2305.113(A) mandates that a medical malpractice lawsuit “shall be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrued.” However, R.C. 2305.113(B) “provides an exception to this rule by allowing litigants to extend the one-year statute of limitations for an additional one hundred eighty days from the time proper notice is given to potential defendants.”
Ohio Discovery Rule
The Ohio discovery rule is also an exception to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases. Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit may be extended if the injured person did not know and could not have reasonably discovered the injury until after the two-year statute of limitations.
“The ‘discovery rule’ generally provides ‘that a cause of action accrues for purposes of the governing statute of limitations at the time when the plaintiff discovers or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have discovered the complained of injury.”’
The discovery rule applies in cases where the injury is latent, meaning that it is not immediately apparent but becomes noticeable later. For example, if you were exposed to toxic chemicals at work and did not realize the harm until years later, the discovery rule may apply and extend the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The discovery rule is a complex legal principle, and determining when the statute of limitations begins to run depends on each case’s specific facts and circumstances. In general, the injured person must prove they did not know and could not have reasonably discovered the injury within the two-year statute of limitations. Many people think the discovery rule applies when it does not. In these cases, the law is harsh. The statute of limitations is a strict deadline. If miss it, you may lose your right to file a lawsuit and recover damages for your injuries.
The discovery rule does not provide victims the same protections from a statute of repose.
Ohio Statute of Repose
In Ohio, a statute of repose is a legal deadline that sets a specific period beyond which a lawsuit cannot be filed, regardless of any injury. The statute of repose operates as a bar to legal action. It serves as a cutoff for liability, even if the injury occurred within the period set by the statute of repose.
The statute of repose differs from the statute of limitations, which sets a period for filing a lawsuit after the injury occurs. The statute of repose operates as an absolute bar to legal action, whereas the statute of limitations may be extended, usually by the discovery rule we discuss above.
The Ohio statute of repose is typically shorter than the statute of limitations, which sets the period for filing a lawsuit after the injury occurs. The purpose of the statute of repose is to provide a degree of certainty and finality to potential defendants, allowing them to plan their affairs and investments without the risk of unlimited exposure to liability.
Does the statute of repose apply in wrongful death cases? This is still an open question that the Ohio Supreme Court will likely decide in 2023.
Ohio Malpractice Statute of Repose
Ohio’s statute of repose for medical malpractice lawsuits is four years. R.C. 2305.113(C) provides that no action may be brought more than four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the claim. That statute states that “if an action upon a medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim is not commenced within four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis [of the claim], then, any action upon that claim is barred.”
RC 2305.113(C) does not apply to the claims of minors. The statute of repose states: “(C) Except as to persons within the age of minority or of unsound mind as provided by section 2305.16 of the Revised Code …” (Does this apply when the minors are wrongful death beneficiaries? Call an Ohio malpractice lawyer.)
- This is a good piece that flushed out some of the nuances of the Ohio medical malpractice statute of repose in 2022
Ohio Product Liability
Ohio Revised Code §2305.10 was amended in 205 to include a ten-year statute of repose.
Ohio Construction Statute of Repose
Ohio’s construction statute of repose is ten years. R.C. 2305.131 applies to all causes of action, whether contract or tort claims, that seek recovery for damages against any who furnished the: (1) design, (2) planning, (3) supervision of construction or (4) construction of the improvement to real property. The purpose of the construction statute of repose is to “protect defendants from having to defend against stale claims.”
Comparative Negligence in Ohio
Over 40 years, Ohio adopted comparative negligence law. Comparative negligence is a legal principle that allows for the allocation of fault among multiple parties in a personal injury case. This means that if a plaintiff is partially at fault for the injury, their damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
In Ohio, if the plaintiff’s fault is found to be greater than 50%, they will be barred from recovering any damages. The principle of comparative negligence applies to both contributory negligence (fault of the plaintiff) and comparative fault (fault of both plaintiff and defendant).