Proving Loss Of Quality Or Enjoyment of Life
When we think of damages for injuries that aren’t economic, like medical bills or lost wages, we often think of pain and suffering. And while these can be large and important elements of an injury case, there is another category of damages that a jury can compensate you for: Loss of the quality and enjoyment of life.
What is this seemingly odd element of damages, and how is it proven?
A Separate Element of Damages
To understand this type of damage, remember that being injured doesn’t automatically mean that you have lost any quality in your life. In other words, a jury can’t and won’t just assume that because you have suffered a particular injury, that the quality of your life has diminished.
So, for example, in an accident you may have suffered a broken leg so severe that you cannot walk correctly again. But you may still be just fine, live your life the same way, do the same things, and have little or no alteration of your everyday life and how you enjoy life.
Practically, this is unlikely; we all know that almost every kind of injury will result in some diminishment of the quality of life—the point is that you cannot assume that an injury results in a loss of the quality of life—it’s something that must be proven.
So how do you prove loss of enjoyment or the quality of life? It’s really about painting a before and after picture. A jury needs to see what you did before the accident, and how it affected you—and how the loss of those events or activities have affected you as well.
Much of this testimony will come from you, but it will also come from your friends or acquaintances. You may have to paint a picture of your life before the accident, and show the jury exactly how you can no longer live that life.
Showing that you had a commitment to a given activity, such as playing sports, or running marathons, or playing an instrument, all can show how meaningful that activity was to you—and how much of a loss it is to have lost the ability to engage in that activity as often as you once did.
Relationships also play a part—have you lost the ability to have meaningful time or interaction with a child, or a spouse or other loved one? What activities did you do with these people in your life that you can no longer do?
Pain and Scarring
Pain can have an obvious effect as well. Even just sitting in place watching TV can lose its value, meaning or pleasure, when just sitting you are in pain, or knocked out on the medicines that you need to take for your pain.
Even scarring can affect someone’s life. Large, physically visible scarring can create self-confidence issues, and scar tissue is not mobile or flexible; simple movements can be painful when there is excess scarring.
Wondering what you can get compensated for after you have been injured in an accident? Ask us. Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today.