Injuries Can Reduce Quality of Life
When someone is injured in a car accident, most people think of the resulting economic damages, such as lost wages and bills for medical treatment and property damage. However, another category of injury — known as loss of enjoyment of life — can be just as painful and costly.
What Is Loss of Enjoyment of Life?
In the context of an automobile accident, severe, life-changing injuries could cause loss of enjoyment of life. Generally, an injured person could make this type of claim after an injury that:
- Results in limitation or total loss of the use of their limbs
- Diminishes or results in total loss of their earning capacity
- Leads to an inability to perform certain activities that they were able to do prior to the accident
- Triggers emotional or psychological trauma
- Stops them from gaining pleasure from certain forms of entertainment
- Renders them unable to complete everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene.
People whose injuries produce a more serious decrease in the quality of life may be entitled to greater compensation. In Colorado, loss of enjoyment of life claims are currently limited to $468,010; or $936,030 for injuries occurring after January 1, 2008.
Some examples of the basis for a loss of enjoyment of life claim include:
- An accident victim who previously participated in marathons is forced to give up running and lifting weights for a year.
- A model who sustained serious burns in an automobile accident can no longer pursue his or her chosen profession due to scarring and disfigurement.
- A dedicated gardener is no longer to kneel and tend to plants due to a serious back injury sustained in a car crash.
In all these cases, an injured person must prove that they lost enjoyment in their own life due to another person’s negligence.
Proving a Loss of Enjoyment of Life Claim
Because loss of enjoyment of life is a non-economic damage with no obvious monetary value attached to it, it can be difficult to prove without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Courts will often consider the age of the victim and the severity of the injury when calculating damages for loss of enjoyment of life, and younger plaintiffs tend to have a better chance of being given a larger damage award because the loss will affect them longer. Similarly, catastrophic injuries that cause great pain and interfere with daily life are also more likely to result in greater awards for loss of enjoyment of life.
An injured person will typically prove their damages related to loss of enjoyment of life through their own testimony and sometimes that of their spouse or significant other. This testimony, which may be given under oath in a deposition or during the trial, will specify all of the activities that the injured person enjoyed before the injury and how the injury has affected their ability to engage in and enjoy those same pastimes.
Contact an Experienced Colorado Personal Injury Attorney
If you sustained an injury in an automobile accident and need help getting compensated for your damages, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Rosen online or call 303-454-8000 or 800-ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney today.