Loss of Enjoyment of Life Damages May Be Available in Your Case
Ragain & Clark December 17, 2019
A common question among Montana accident victims, whether their injuries are the result of auto accidents or some other type of incident involving a third person’s negligence is “What sort of damages can I recover?” A skilled Billings personal injury attorney will advise that, in most cases, an injured party may recover for as many as three distinct categories of damages:
- Economic Damages –These are the sorts of damages that have a relatively specific financial value, such as medical bills, lost wages, anticipated future medical expenses, potential lost future wages, and the loss of any property damaged or destroyed in the accident or incident.
- Non-Economic Damages — These include the sorts of damages that do not have a specific financial value, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma or distress, and “loss of enjoyment of life” (described in greater depth below).
- Punitive Damages — Awarded generally only in special cases, these sorts of damages may be recoverable where the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or egregious, or where the defendant may have had actual malice in mind. These damages are meant to punish the perpetrator and to send a signal to others to refrain from the same sort of harmful activity.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life Damages
In most cases, loss of enjoyment of life — sometimes shortened to “loss of enjoyment” may be thought of as a special component within the broader category of “pain and suffering” damages. With loss of enjoyment damages, Montana law attempts to provide monetary compensation for the inability on the part of the victim to enjoy life’s activities. This can consist of detrimental changes to the victim’s lifestyle or the victim’s ability to participate in those sorts of activities that he or she enjoyed before the accident or injury. In most cases, the measure of these “loss of enjoyment” damages depends upon a showing (in court or to those negotiating on behalf of the “at fault” party) of two factors:
- The nature and severity of the injury; and
- The lifestyle or types of activities the victim typically engaged in prior to the accident or other incident causing the harm.
A Billings Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Establish Loss of Enjoyment Damages
An accident victim will typically prove his or her loss of enjoyment damages through testimony, most often in the form of the victim’s own words, but often supplemented by the testimony of family members — spouse and children — and friends. For example, with the assistance of a highly skilled Billings personal injury attorney, a victim who has sustained severe back injuries in an auto accident may explain how he or she could perform all sorts of activities before the accident but after the accident is prevented from doing so. Where the victim has suffered obvious scarring as a result either of the injury or the treatment required for the injury, he or she may not feel comfortable in public in the same fashion as before. A court or jury is entitled to place a reasonable value on that loss of enjoyment and award the value as damages.
Effective Legal Counsel is Often Vital to Prove the Full Measure of Damages
If you have been involved in an auto accident or if you’ve sustained injuries in some other incident due to the negligence of another, the stakes are high. Except in unusual circumstances, you have only one chance to gain money damages for the loss, including loss of enjoyment of life, that you have suffered. You owe it to yourself to get the assistance of an experienced Billings personal injury attorney at Ragain & Clark, PC.