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What Is Loss of Enjoyment of Life in a Personal Injury Claim?

How Is It Defined? How Are Damages Calculated?

What Is Loss of Enjoyment of Life in a Personal Injury Claim?When you’ve been hurt in any type of accident because of someone else’s wrongful conduct, some of your losses will be easy to determine, but others won’t. Lost wages are often easily calculated with wage statements or pay stubs, and unreimbursed medical expenses can be determined with bills from providers. But you’re also allowed to recover compensation for less tangible losses, including loss of enjoyment of life. What qualifies as loss of enjoyment of life and how will the court determine the monetary value of your losses?

What Is “Loss of Enjoyment of Life” in a Personal Injury Matter?

At its most fundamental level, the loss of enjoyment of life is the inability to do the things you were able to do before the accident, whether due to physical limitations brought on by the accident or because of any pain or discomfort you experience when trying to engage in those activities. The activities may be general or specific:

  • You may be unable to walk, sit or stand, dress yourself or prepare meals, or engage in basic functions of life
  • You may have been an active participant in amateur athletics or had other hobbies that are now impossible to do

How Are Damages Calculated for Loss of Enjoyment of Life?

These types of damages are what are commonly referred to as “non-economic” damages. They can’t be determined through documentary evidence, such as invoices, bills, receipts or pay stubs. Courts generally take a couple different approaches when assessing the compensation due for loss of enjoyment of life:

  • The multiplier approach—Under this method, the court calculates the total sum of all economic losses, such as wages and unpaid medical expenses. The jury then multiplies that number by a factor, typically between 1 and 10. For example, if lost wages and medical damages total $500,000, the jury may apply a factor of 2 and assess $1,000,000 in damages for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • The reasonableness method—Some courts ask the jury to look at all the circumstances of the case and award a “reasonable” amount for loss of enjoyment of life

Contact Howard D. Popper, P.C.

At Howard D. Popper, P.C., we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, including workplace injuries, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.