Loss of Enjoyment of Life Compensation in Texas
Posted on Friday, December 1st, 2023 at 9:00 am
Severe accidents in Texas take a toll that goes far beyond physical injuries and financial losses. Many accidents leave people with intense emotional distress or feeling that they can’t enjoy life like they did before. This loss of enjoyment of life is especially common for people who develop long-term health issues or disabilities. Fortunately, a personal injury claim allows you to pursue compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
The Beaumont, TX, personal injury attorneys at Portner Bond recognize how a severe accident can hamper your quality of life. Our experienced team can assist you in recovering compensation for your loss of enjoyment of life.
What Qualifies as Loss of Enjoyment of Life Due to Injuries After an Accident?
Recovering from a major accident is about more than treating your injuries and paying your bills. The physical pain and emotional distress you feel can make it difficult to enjoy daily activities or hobbies that gave you pleasure before the accident. Furthermore, some severe injuries may prevent you from doing things you used to enjoy.
That, in a nutshell, is what “loss of enjoyment of life” means in a Texas personal injury claim. This loss falls in the category of “non-economic damages,” which is the legal term for the compensation for intangible losses from an accident. (By contrast, “economic damages” refers to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and other losses with a defined cost.) Some common examples of loss of enjoyment of life after an accident include:
- No longer being able to engage in sports or exercise
- Struggling with hobbies like gardening or playing musical instruments
- Facing difficulties in playing with your children or pets
- Having to skip social events or family gatherings
- Losing the ability to partake in outdoor activities like hiking or biking
- Experiencing pain or discomfort while doing everyday tasks
- Being unable to travel or go on vacations
- Suffering from sleep disturbances or insomnia due to ongoing pain
- Dealing with anxiety or depression that prevents you from enjoying life
- Missing work or school activities that once brought joy and satisfaction
- Being unable to be physically intimate with your spouse or partner
Types of Injuries and Accidents That Can Cause Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Sadly, many injuries and accidents can cause a drop in someone’s quality of life. Some accidents and injuries that cause people to lose their enjoyment of life include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, taking away independence and the ability to do many physical activities.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Severe brain injuries may result in cognitive impairment, which can damage people’s relationships with friends or family.
- Burn Injuries: Burns from an accident can cause severe pain, disfigurement, and emotional distress.
- Amputations: Losing a limb can drastically change a person’s lifestyle, limiting mobility and the ability to perform daily activities as before.
- Fractures and Broken Bones: Severe breaks can lead to long-term mobility issues, preventing participation in active hobbies and some types of work.
- Chronic Pain: Persistent pain can interfere with all aspects of life, from work to leisure.
- Loss of Sight or Hearing: Losing either of these critical senses can isolate a person from experiences and interactions they used to enjoy.
- Car Accidents: Car crashes can cause severe injuries, leading to physical and emotional trauma that affects all areas of life.
- Workplace Accidents: Incidents at work can cause long-term disabilities, forcing a person to change careers or stop working. In turn, this may affect their sense of purpose and financial stability.
- Slip-and-Falls: Falls frequently cause hip and head injuries, which can limit mobility and independence.
- Sports Injuries: A sports injury can end a person’s athletic pursuits and leisure activities, altering their lifestyle and social life.
- Medical Malpractice: Medical errors lead to worsened health conditions or new injuries, which may have a severe psychological impact.
- Dog Bites and Animal Attacks: Beyond physical injuries, animal attacks can instill lasting fear and anxiety, impacting outdoor activities and overall mental health.
Can You Sue Someone for Loss of Enjoyment of Life?
The legal definition of “non-economic damages” in Texas law explicitly mentions loss of enjoyment of life. Therefore, you can include compensation for this loss in a personal injury claim or civil suit.
Calculating Loss of Enjoyment of Life Damages in Texas
Texas law does not cap non-economic damages in personal injury claims, except for cases involving medical malpractice. That’s the good news. The bad news is that because non-economic losses from an accident involve things without defined values, calculating compensation is tricky.
One common technique for calculating non-economic damages is the multiplier method. This approach involves taking the value of your economic losses—medical bills, lost wages, etc.—and multiplying them by a number between one and five. The worse your injuries, the higher the multiplier number.
But there’s more than one way to calculate these losses. Lawyers and insurance companies might look at daily rates, too. This method involves determining the daily cost of your lost enjoyment and adding up all the days you’ve been affected. Think of it like charging a fee for each day you can’t live life to its fullest.
Whatever method you use, an experienced attorney can help you determine an amount that reflects your losses.
How to Prove Loss of Enjoyment of Life
To show the world just how much you’re missing out on after an accident, you’ve got to have solid proof. Here are types of evidence that can help make your case:
- Witness Statements: Friends, family, and co-workers can vouch for your life before and after the injury, highlighting the changes in your activities and mood.
- Medical Records: These show the extent of your injuries and can help link the physical injuries to your loss of enjoyment.
- Expert Testimony: Mental health professionals or life care planners can give their opinions on how your injuries have impacted your quality of life.
- Diaries or Journals: Personal writings documenting your daily struggles and the activities you can no longer enjoy can be powerful, persuasive evidence.
Get the Compensation You Need
If an accident has robbed you of your enjoyment of life, the team at Portner Bond, PLLC can help. We can gather evidence to demonstrate your losses and present it in a compelling manner to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call (409) 838-4444 now or complete our contact form for a free consultation.