A South Florida car accident reportedly left one woman disfigured and disabled. The Florida Record reports that in a subsequent lawsuit she filed against the alleged at-fault driver, she is seeking “loss of life enjoyment” in addition to damages for serious injury, medical expenses, pain, disability (lost wages) and disfigurement.
This particular type of damages is worth exploring because while medical bills and lost wages are quantifiable losses, the impact of one’s “loss of life enjoyment” is far more subjective. Nonetheless, it can mean a sizable increase in the sum of one’s total calculated damages. It can be a significant portion of one’s damage award, too, if the individual didn’t suffer any significant loss of income, such as a young person, someone who is retired or a stay-at-home parent.
Loss of life enjoyment is a component of pain and suffering damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Not all states recognize this as a distinct and calculable compensable loss, but Florida does. Here, pain and suffering refers to the direct pain resulting from injuries sustained as a result of a Florida car accident. Loss of life enjoyment, meanwhile, pertains to the emotional, physical and psychological losses one endures long-term as the result of that crash.
Our injury attorneys have sought these damages for plaintiffs with a wide range of injuries, including bone fractures, scarring, severe back injuries, paraplegia or traumatic brain injury.
Examples of Loss of Life Enjoyment
Florida Standard Jury Instruction 501.2 explains “loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future” is considered a kind of non-economic damage.
Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys know most loss of life enjoyment claims involve establishing proof to the court that as a result of the accident, plaintiff’s ability to enjoy certain activities – particularly those about which you are passionate – has been partially or wholly eliminated. You are alleging you would not have had to endure this had it not been for the crash and resulting injury.
For example, let’s say you’re an avid recreational soccer player involved in a vehicle crash resulting in a severe knee injury. As a result of that injury, you are no longer able to play soccer nearly as often as you once did, to the level you did before or at all. That’s what the court would consider “loss of life enjoyment.”
It could be anything in which you found great pleasure or meaning before the crash, whether it’s cooking or charity work or getting down on the floor and playing with your kids or grandchildren. If a crash renders it difficult or impossible to continue intimacy with your partner, this could be a form of lost life enjoyment (loss of consortium damages for them, if you are married).
How Florida Courts Calculate Loss of Life Enjoyment
The aforementioned jury standard notes there isn’t an exact standard for measuring these type of damages, but it should be “fair and just in the light of the evidence.” Because so much is left open to interpretation, it’s imperative that these damages are presented to jurors in a way the jury can easily understand and also in a way that can be objectively analyzed.
While we may invite close friends or members of plaintiff’s family to testify about the things they loved doing before the crash and how the injuries affected them, it might also include economic evidence and perhaps even an expert witness. We can present evidence of value of life expectancy (as outlined in the hedonic model), by which the pleasure of life for a healthy 70-year-old would be less than that of a 20-year-old. We take into account factors like age, gender, general health and lifestyle habits that might help us determine ones’s life expectancy, as well as the strength of one’s relationships and the cost of the crash on those ties as well as the impact to much-loved activities.
Our attorneys have successfully secured loss of life enjoyment damages for many car accident victims in West Palm Beach, and can help answer your questions about the best legal strategy.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Lawsuit claims I-95 car accident left woman disabled and disfigured, July 29, 2018, By Jenie Mallari-Torres, The Florida Record
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Unlicensed Driver’s Purchase of Vehicle Leads to $5.5M Crash Settlement, July 30, 2018, West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney Blog