If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you may notice that you’re unable to engage in activities that you used to enjoy. Maybe the pain from your injuries has made indulging in your favorite hobbies difficult. Or perhaps your relationships have changed due to mental and physical injury from the accident.
You might be entitled to loss of enjoyment of life compensation. A personal injury claim can result in money for the person who lost the ability to enjoy their life because of the injuries they suffered. A personal injury lawyer can help prove that you are owed loss of enjoyment of life compensation.
What Qualifies as Loss of Enjoyment of Life Due to Injuries After an Accident?
Loss of enjoyment of life doesn’t just mean not having fun. It’s a type of loss that results when accident-related injuries leave you unable to participate in activities your pre-injury self took part in that were pleasurable and added meaning to your life. Your injuries could make it harder for you to do physical activities you used to enjoy, such as:
- Running 5K races
- Coaching your child’s sports team
- Golfing with friends
Or the mental anguish from the wreck or your changed abilities could also affect your life. You may no longer be able to participate in your favorite hobbies, like gaming or being in a book club. Your injuries could impact your quality of life to the point that you develop depression or anxiety.
You may feel frustrated at your inability to complete daily activities, like caring for yourself or your family. This stress significantly affects your quality of life. Or maybe you had a job you loved that you can no longer do because of the accident. The inability to work can cause you stress or make you question your identity without the career that comprised so much of your life.
The accident changed your life. In your personal injury claim, you can demand compensation for loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
Types of Injuries and Accidents That Can Cause Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Just about any type of accident that causes physical damage may also lead to loss of enjoyment of life. Some common personal injury cases that cause injuries that impact your quality of life include:
- A car accident that causes multiple injuries like broken bones, a concussion, or lacerations
- Spinal cord damage from slipping and falling on a hard surface
- A semi-truck collision that causes chronic pain and suffering from the physical injury
- A dog bite that causes loss of function in the hand
- Developing a chronic illness due to a contaminated consumer beauty product
- Permanent disability because of a botched surgical procedure
These are just a few types of personal injury cases in which the injured party could qualify for compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
Can You Sue?
Yes. Also called “hedonic damages,” compensation for loss of enjoyment of life is a major part of many lawsuits stemming from accidents, particularly those expected to have long-term consequences. Here are a few things you need to know about pursuing this type of compensation through litigation:
- Legal Basis: The premise for suing for loss of enjoyment of life is grounded in the belief that those injured by another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing deserve financial compensation to undo as much of the resulting harm as possible. This compensation can and should consider how injuries and their related treatment have interfered with their pre-accident quality of life. Such payment is separate from other damages such as medical bills or lost wages.
- Proving the Claim: Demonstrating loss of enjoyment of life can be challenging since it is inherently subjective. Helpful evidence may include personal testimonies, photos or videos showcasing previous activities you used to enjoy, expert testimonies from psychologists or life care planners, and statements from family or friends.
- Statute of Limitations: In Georgia, any lawsuit stemming from a personal injury must be filed within two years of the date of injury. Certain circumstances can extend or shorten this deadline, so be sure to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to avoid costly delays.
Calculating Loss of Enjoyment of Life Damages in Georgia
How do you put a dollar amount on no longer being able to race, coach, or swing a golf club? Insurance companies use formulas to determine a number, but your subjective pain and suffering do not inform these objective calculations.
Your attorney, who is familiar with your experience after the accident, could calculate your compensation by using a multiplier based on the total of your economic losses (medical bills, lost wages from work, property damage). This works by tallying the total economic losses, then using a factor of 1 to 5 to quantify your loss of enjoyment of life. A multiplier of 5 is for the most serious injuries, like permanent disability; 1 is for the least serious injury.
There are other methods of calculating appropriate compensation for loss of enjoyment of life. Your attorney will use the one that benefits you most.
How to Prove Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Your account of the changes in your life post-accident is a valuable piece of evidence. It supports your claim for compensation for loss of enjoyment of life. Consider keeping a diary of how your injuries impact your life each day. For example, if you used to go to a weekly yoga class but now cannot, note that. If your relationships have suffered because of your disability or chronic pain, write down what happened and how you feel.
Additionally, friends and family can testify about the changes your injuries have had on your life and your ability to participate in your usual activities.
Skilled Personal Injury Attorneys Can Explain Your Rights
Do you need advice following an accident? Have you noticed a distinct reduction in your quality of life after being injured in an accident? You can contact Chris Hudson Law Group at (706) 863-6600 today for a free consultation with a Georgia personal injury lawyer.