An accident or personal injury can turn your life upside down. In addition to the physical pain and emotional suffering you experience, you incur economic damages that can cause financial hardship for your family.
Sadly, damages are not limited to the physical, emotional, and financial losses incurred. When a person sustains an injury, that injury can negatively impact their enjoyment of life and quality of life.
If another person caused your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation for diminished quality of life as part of your personal injury case.
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Defining Quality of Life
The term “quality of life” means different things to different people. Generally, we define the quality of life in terms of enjoyment of physical activities. It may also refer to being ill or injured versus being fit and healthy.
The World Health Organization considers a person’s culture, expectations, value system, and standards in quality of living. Having access to health care and the ability to improve the quality of life we enjoy can also be part of the definition.
On the other hand, our quality of life includes our dissatisfaction with our current state and living conditions. We may envy someone we perceive as having a high quality of life. Monetary considerations could also factor in how we view our quality of life.
Regardless of how you define quality of life, if a personal injury changes your daily activities and diminishes your enjoyment of living, you could have a claim for damages.
What Injuries Can Decrease Your Quality of Life?
Generally, catastrophic injuries result in impairments and disabilities that can reduce your quality of life.
Examples of those injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries to internal organs
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Childhood injuries that cause developmental, physical, cognitive, or emotional delays and impairments
- Severe scarring and disfigurement from burns or other injuries
- Loss of bodily functions
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
However, there is no list of injuries that qualify for filing a diminished quality of life claim. Any injury that causes permanent impairment, disability, or negatively impacts your daily life could result in a claim.
For example, a broken bone impacts your life for a few weeks to a few months while you heal. You might be unable to drive, perform specific tasks, or enjoy everyday activities. When the bone heals, you return to your ordinary routines.
However, suppose the broken bone causes a permanent limp. Your leg is weaker than it was before. The doctors state that you have a 30% permanent impairment, so your condition is not expected to improve.
The impairment prevents you from engaging in sports and other activities you once enjoyed. In addition, you may be unable to continue working at your current job because you cannot meet the physical demands with your restrictions.
In that case, the broken leg decreased your quality and enjoyment of life. Therefore, any injury can potentially impact a person’s quality of life.
Valuing Your Quality of Life Damages
Instead, an attorney will review the factors related to a victim’s quality of life, including:
- The type and severity of the impairment, disability, or injury
- The person’s age and life expectancy
- Activities that the person cannot perform because of the injury
- The person’s overall health before and after the injury
- Prognosis and impairment rating from medical experts and other expert witnesses
- Reports from vocational experts and occupational therapists
- The person’s social standing and personality
- Testimony from the person, family members, and friends describing the changes in quality of life
- The person’s education, work history, and skills
- Expert opinions from mental health experts regarding the person’s emotional and mental health
- The ability to perform personal care, including bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, etc.
- The impact on personal relationships with family members and friends
- The person’s physical appearance before and after the injury
- Attempts by the person to mitigate damages by improving their quality of life
Each case is unique. Therefore, there could be other factors to consider. The claim’s value is based on how severely the person’s life was changed because of the injury or accident.
Your legal team will work with you and your family to gather evidence to develop a compelling and detailed narrative that forces the insurance company to recognize the devastating impact an accident or injury has had on your life.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Diminished Quality of Life
You deserve compensation for all damages caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. Contact an experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney for a free consultation to discuss your injuries and how they’ve reduced your quality of life. An attorney will ensure that you receive fair compensation.