Personal injuries and accidents can cause overwhelming pain and suffering. Injured victims can receive compensation for non-economic damages by filing insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits. They can also seek reimbursement for the economic damages and financial losses they incur because of their injuries.
Because an accident or personal injury can cause emotional and physical damages, a victim may experience a decrease in their overall quality of life.
Diminished quality of life can take many forms, including:
- The inability to return to cherished activities and hobbies
- The inability to bathe, dress, or feed oneself
- Sustaining extensive scarring and disfigurement
- Experiencing crippling anxiety and depression
- The inability to engage in sexual activity or maintain close relationships because of psychological damages
These examples are just a handful of ways that a person might experience diminished quality of life after an accident or personal injury. Therefore, it is only fair that the at-fault party compensate for these losses in addition to other damages.
What Is “Quality of Life” in a Personal Injury Claim?
People define “quality of life” differently. For some, quality of life means having money and possessions.
Other people view quality of life as being free to enjoy what you choose to do with your time. Still, other people say it is spending time with a loved one.
Quality of life might be measured by how dissatisfied a person is with their current state of living. It can also refer to a person’s value system, culture, standards, and expectations, according to the World Health Organization.
Harming a person’s emotional, physical, or financial well-being can result in an immediate loss of enjoyment of life. The person might be focused on things that others might not value, but it is valuable to that person. They cannot enjoy their lives as much as they did when they had it, so they experience diminished quality of life.
How Do You Determine the Value of Diminished Quality of Life?
Because each person is unique, placing a value on diminished quality of life requires an analysis of the person’s quality of life before and after the injury.
Factors to consider when determining how much a diminished quality of life claim is worth include:
- The prognosis given by the person’s doctor and medical experts
- The severity and type of the injury the person sustained
- The person’s overall health and enjoyment of life before their injury and now
- The type and severity of the person’s permanent impairment or disability
- A person’s education, skills, career, and work history
- Whether the person can enjoy the same activities they did before their injury
- The person’s overall health before and after their injury
- The ability to care for basic personal needs, such as bathing, feeding, grooming, and dressing
- The person’s appearance before and after their injury
- Attempts by the person to mitigate damages by improving their quality of life
- The impact the injuries and accident had on the person’s relationships with family, friends, and other people
- Testimony and statements from family members and friends
Additionally, we might consider opinions, evaluations, and impairment ratings provided by medical specialists, mental health experts, and other expert witnesses. Because each person and case is unique, there could be other factors to consider.
The value of a claim for diminished quality of life is based on the severity of the injuries and harm caused in a person’s life. In other words, how drastically has the person’s life changed after the injury? Also, did the changes cause the person not to enjoy life as much as they did before the accident?
How Does the Insurance Company Value a Claim for Diminished Quality of Life?
Insurance companies downplay and underestimate the value of non-economic damages. It is easy to do so because there is no standard formula for placing a price tag on a person’s pain and suffering.
Therefore, it is up to your legal team to convince the insurance company or a panel of jurors that you deserve the amount calculated for non-economic damages, including a decrease in quality of life. We try to create a narrative that helps jurors understand the hardships you face each day because of the accident and injury. We give them a glimpse inside your life now.
The more details provided, the better the jurors can understand your pain and suffering. Having a positive attitude and trying to enjoy your life to the fullest does not diminish the fact that your life has been drastically altered. Therefore, you deserve to be compensated for the loss, even if you continue to fight to enjoy each day with the impairments caused by someone else’s negligence.
Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Valuing Your Diminished Quality of Life
An attorney will work to recover maximum compensation for your damages, including a decrease in your quality of life. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (727) 787-2500.