What is Loss of Enjoyment of Life?
In a personal injury claim, general damages include a variety of losses, one of them being the loss of enjoyment of life. As someone who is injured, depending on degree of physical impairment, you no longer can perform simple tasks. Scratching a nose is a luxury lost. These losses can be compensated through a personal injury claim.
Loss of enjoyment of life is a concept that refers to a person suffering a physical or mental injury that affects their ability to enjoy certain activities prior to their injuries. These damages are most common in catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord accidents.
Example of Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Some examples of what you are losing the ability to enjoy due to your accident include:
- Hobbies, such as golfing or hiking
- Career opportunities
- Family activities
- Everyday tasks such as walking the dog, cooking, or grocery shopping
How is Loss of Enjoyment of Life Calculated?
Several factors are weighed when quantifying the value of the loss of enjoyment of life.
- Age of the plaintiff
- Where the plaintiff lives
- Educational background and employment history
- Extent of the injuries
- Short and long-term effects of the injury
- Activities that the plaintiff can no longer do
Unless rehabilitation is commenced immediately, and even when it is, an injury victim is prone to extreme depression, frustration, and at times, a lack of a will to live. All of these emotional tolls are taken into consideration when calculating the loses.
Who Determines Loss of Enjoyment of Life?
While expert testimony is generally not admissible regarding the computation of a dollar amount for a general damage award, expert testimony should be used to validate depression and the emotional well being (or lack thereof), of the victim. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and neuropsychologists should be utilized to discuss the diagnosis of depression, the impact of medication and the prognosis of the plaintiff’s emotional condition.
In addition to experts, lay witnesses, including family members, close friends, relatives, etc. should be used to establish the plaintiff’s damages.
Learn More About the Value of Your Claim
Physical disabilities in a spinal cord injury case can be disheartening. The true invisible injury, however, the general damages, are no less disheartening to endure.
Extensive time must be spent by counsel in order the breadth of the general damages is understood and communicated to the jury.
If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury or serious injury to the spine, you need the assistance of the Scarlett Law Group. Call (415) 688-2176 today to speak with a California Personal Injury Attorney.