Loss of enjoyment of life is among the non-economic, or general, damages you can receive compensation for in a personal injury suit. It is not the same as pain and suffering but is a consequence of injuries incurred in an accident.
Because this loss is not tangible, it can be more difficult to prove versus, say, a broken leg. However, an experienced Duluth personal injury lawyer at Scholle Law can evaluate your situation and make a case for compensation on your behalf.
If you are injured by someone else’s actions or negligence, our attorneys are here to help. Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Is Loss of Enjoyment of Life?
In legal terms, loss of enjoyment of life refers to how a serious injury impacts your quality of life.
Generally, the loss of enjoyment arises from an inability to engage in certain activities in the way that the injured party did before the accident, such as working or playing sports. However, to qualify for compensation under a personal injury claim, the loss of enjoyment must be due to some loss of function, pain, or other factors resulting directly from the personal injury in question.
What Kinds of Injuries Can Impair Your Ability to Enjoy Life?
There are a wide variety of injuries that can cause the loss of enjoyment of life. In most cases, they are catastrophic injuries that have a long-term, life-altering effect.
They include injuries that cause severe physical limitations, such as paralysis or pain, as well as those which can cause severe psychological pain, such as disfigurement and scarring.
Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A traumatic brain injury usually occurs when there is a sudden blow to the skull or a jolt to the body which causes the brain to strike the interior wall of the skull.
The injury can also result from an object penetrating the skull and damaging the brain. A severe TBI can result in persistent severe headaches, frequent severe nausea, seizures and convulsions, loss of balance, loss of motor function, and loss of cognitive function.
Each of these symptoms, alone or in combination, can have a harmful effect on the quality and enjoyment of an individual’s life.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Severe spinal cord injuries can result in some form of paralysis and loss of motor function. Some spinal cord injuries can leave survivors with little to no movement below the neck. However active or inactive they were before the accident, these individuals will likely be unable to enjoy many or most of the pleasures of their prior lives.
Soft Tissue Injuries Limiting Range of Motion and Function
Soft tissue injuries occur when muscles, ligaments, and tendons are damaged. They often occur when in accidents and commonly include:
- Sprains, especially wrist and ankle
- Strains, especially in the back, calf, and hamstring
- Tendonitis, particularly in the elbow
While these may not seem to be devastating injuries, the long-term impact can be enormous, particularly for athletes and others whose range of motion and function is vital to their lives.
A loss that severely limits the movement or function needed for one’s work or pleasure can be compensable for the loss of enjoyment of life.
Injuries Resulting in Chronic Pain
Pain after an injury is normal; it is the body’s way of alerting you to your injury. However, when the pain continues long after the injury is healed, it no longer provides any benefit to the sufferer. Rather, chronic severe pain has physical and emotional effects on those who suffer from it.
Physically, chronic pain keeps your body in a constant state of stress. To have a severe impact, the pain itself does not need to be severe; the pain’s unending nature causes the long-lasting loss of enjoyment of life. Chronic pain often disrupts sleep, causes anxiety, depression, and other mood changes, and interferes with the ability to work and interact with others.
Injuries Resulting in Loss of Hearing or Sight
The loss of sight, hearing, or both can be catastrophic, impacting how the injured travels, communicates, and generally cares for themselves daily. It increases the need for adaptive technology while decreasing freedom and independence.
The loss can reduce the ability to continue one’s career and likely result in a loss of driving privileges. The challenges of adjusting to a new life can bring on depression, while the injury that caused the loss may leave chronic pain behind.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Some accidents result in severe scarring or disfigurement that diminishes quality of life. This change is particularly life-altering when the scars or disfigurement are on the face or otherwise highly visible and/or when the injured is young.
Scar tissue is not only considered unattractive by many but is also less flexible. For example, it can affect the mobility of facial muscles, making expressions such as smiling difficult. Sometimes, corrections may be made with plastic surgery or prosthetics, but the emotional injuries may take years of therapy.
Even then, the injured person is unlikely to see a return to the prior level of enjoyment of life.
Evidence in Support of Damages for Lost Enjoyment of Life
Loss of enjoyment of life damages are, essentially, about the future in comparison to the past. As injured persons recover, they begin to compare the current state of their life to what it was before the accident.
So, how does one calculate damages and prove the loss of enjoyment of life?
Like all non-economic damages, loss of enjoyment of life can be difficult to prove. There are no receipts for your unhappiness or inability to do the things you used to love. You will need to prove that you actually did enjoy and participate in what you claim to have lost.
A physician may explain why you have lost certain abilities and how that loss impacts your ability to do things. Friends and relatives may testify to your former life, submit photographic evidence, and speak of activities you can no longer enjoy.
An experienced and knowledgeable Duluth personal injury attorney can help you build the strongest case proving your loss of enjoyment of life.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has experienced a loss of enjoyment of life as a result of a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. A skilled personal injury lawyer at Scholle Law can provide a no-cost initial consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you get the best possible recovery in your case.
Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.