Getting Damages for the Loss of Enjoyment or Quality of Life
Many of us understand or appreciate how an accident victim sustains pain and suffering, or what pain and suffering is, and to some extent, how to measure it. But what about loss of the quality and enjoyment of life?
This phrase is often mixed in with pain and suffering, as if they were one and the same—but this is, in fact, a different measure or element of damages, and one that personal injury attorneys should consider, when presenting a client’s claim to a jury.
Why They Differ
Pain and suffering is different from loss of the quality and enjoyment of life. You can, in fact, have one without the other. Imagine someone who has lost a limb; their pain and suffering may not be severe anymore, but they have surely suffered a disability that would impact how they live, and enjoy, their life.
Likewise, someone may be in severe pain all the time, but have a minimal impact on their life, if they just choose to soldier through the pain and do the activities that they once did.
How Have Things Changed?
The key to proving loss of the quality and enjoyment of life, is to show how the victims life has changed for the worse, from before to after the accident. Of course, if you have sought out the help of mental health professionals to deal with or help you cope with your losses, that testimony, or those records, can be used as well.
The changes can be major or minor; they can be significant, like the ability to play with kids, or the loss of the ability to do things with loved ones that you once did, or they can be slightly less significant, like the inability to participate in a sport or activity.
Showing loss of the quality or enjoyment of life is really a two part process: the first step is the medical testimony, supporting the loss of the ability to do the physical things that once did.
The second is your testimony, or testimony of loved ones, showing the things that you could once do, but which you no longer can do.
The Activities You Lost
You may need to present evidence showing how important the activities you lost were to you. Of course, spending time with loved ones or kids is obvious, but if you had a passion, or a hobby, or some life activity that had a deeper meaning for you, your commitment to that activity may have to be portrayed to a jury so that they understand how significant your loss is.
The activities that you lose, or that you no longer enjoy, don’t have to be active, physical ones either. The simple act of watching a movie can lose its fun or meaning, if you are sitting in constant pain, or if medicines have certain side effects that impact your ability to enjoy even sedentary activities.
Contact the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian and schedule a consultation today to see what compensation you may be entitled to, after you have been injured in any kind of accident.