If you suffer a physical injury caused by someone else, you probably have a personal injury claim. This means you are entitled to a certain amount of compensation. If your injuries are serious, one of the elements of the compensation you can claim is called non-economic damages. “Lost quality of life” is a component of non-economic damages.
Sub-Components of Your “Lost Quality of Life” Claim
What makes your life worth living? A serious injury can affect your ability to enjoy life in a number of ways. Following is a list of common elements of a lost quality of life claim:
- Volunteer activities such as church work.
- Exercise, such as jogging or weight training.
- Hobbies: Chess, for example, or playing the guitar.
- Recreational activities: Hiking or horseback riding, for example.
- Social activities such as parties.
- Family activities such as playing football with your children or playing fetch with your dog.
- Travel, whether near or far.
You can add your own activities, depending on your lifestyle.
Factors That Might Influence the Size of Your Compensation
Two people with similar lists of activities could end up with very different compensation packages, depending on the following factors:
- Age. If your injuries are permanent, then the younger you are, the greater number of years of activity you will lose.
- The frequency with which you engaged in the activities you can no longer participate in. Losing the ability to engage in an everyday activity is worth more than losing the ability to engage in an occasional activity.
- Your living environment, if you listed outdoor activities. You’re likely to lose more based on outdoor activities living in Wyoming than living in Manhattan.
- The severity of your injuries. If your accident paralyzed you from the waist down, for example, your losses could be immense.
- The duration of your injury. A six-month interruption to your lifestyle won’t be worth as much as a lifetime disability.
Many other factors could come into play as well. Your lawyer will probably interview you about your lifestyle to identify these factors.
Loss of Consortium: A Related Claim
Loss of consortium is a separate yet related claim that your relative files on their own behalf. The claim would be that your injury deprived them of some or all of the benefits of their relationship with you.
Your spouse, for example, might claim loss of consortium if your injury prevents you from engaging in sexual relations. Your child, on the other hand, might suffer from a loss of your guidance and affection.
Depending on the facts of your case, there are many ways that a defendant might be able to counter your claim. See below for a partial list of defenses.
Failure To Mitigate Damages
Failure to mitigate damages is a partial defense against liability. Even if the defendant’s wrongful behavior injured you, the defendant is not liable for any losses that you could have easily avoided. For example, the defendant might not bear liability for injuries you suffered because you failed to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Comparative fault is a legal principle that applies when more than one party is at fault for an accident. As long as the accident was not mostly your fault, you will lose compensation in direct proportion to your percentage of fault.
If you were 20% at fault, for example, you will lose 20% of your compensation. If you were 50% at fault, you will lose 50% of your compensation. If your percentage of fault exceeds 50% (even 51%), you will lose 100% of your compensation per Texas law.
You can be almost certain that the defendant will be looking for any way to blame the accident on you.
Lack of Evidence
“Lack of evidence” is a generalized defense against your claim. As the victim, you have the burden of proving that the defendant’s behavior diminished your quality of life. You must prove your claim by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is something like “more likely than not.”
You might even need an expert witness to testify on how your injuries affect your daily life. You can bet that the defendant will simply assert that your evidence is insufficient.
An Experienced Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
“Lost quality of life” is an inherently nebulous concept. You might imagine that it is difficult to translate such an ambiguous component of compensation into a specific dollar figure. Nevertheless, experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyers do it every day. In fact, the right lawyer might be able to multiply your compensation by a substantial margin.
As long as you have a strong claim, you needn’t worry about money. Any reputable personal injury lawyer will charge you nothing upfront and no attorney’s fees unless they get compensation for you. Contact us today and schedule a free initial case consultation with Anderson Injury Lawyers so that a lawyer can evaluate the strength of your claim. You can call us at (817) 294-1900.