In a wrongful death lawsuit, loss of enjoyment of life is an important damage to include. Loss of enjoyment of life is a type of non-economic damages that can be filed by the surviving family of the deceased. It is one of the many damages that fall under pain and suffering.
However, the average person does not know how to prove loss of enjoyment of life.
Our wrongful death attorneys know what evidence you need to prove your loss of enjoyment of life and to get the compensation you rightfully deserve. We don’t let insurance companies bully our clients into giving up their claims.
Let us help you get the damages you’re owed. Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today to speak to a Florida wrongful death attorney.
What is loss of enjoyment of life?
Loss of enjoyment of life is a legal term that is used in personal injury and wrongful death claims. It can be used when a person suffers a physical or mental injury that affects their ability to perform activities that previously gave that person joy.
For example, a slip and fall victim could claim loss of enjoyment of life if they broke their hip and are now incapable of playing their favorite sport.
Other activities that are applicable for loss of enjoyment of life claims include hobbies, recreational activities, volunteering, and social activities.
In the case of wrongful death, the family can make this claim if their grief prevents them from living their lives as they once did. For example, if a spouse’s grief at the loss of their spouse prevents them from participating in hobbies or social gatherings that they once enjoyed with their deceased partner.
How to Prove Loss of Enjoyment of Life
In seeking loss of enjoyment of life damages, you don’t need to claim that your injury or loss is life-threatening, but that it has altered your ability to enjoy the things you once did.
With a wrongful death claimant, they can testify that they are unable to enjoy activities that they previously did. This could include showing receipts for canceled events, a lack of travel, or testimony from others that the claimant no longer participates in their previous social activities.
Is pain and suffering the same as loss of enjoyment of life?
No, pain and suffering is a different non-economic damage. Although both of these claims refer to emotional losses on behalf of the claimant, they do not represent the same thing.
Pain and suffering refer to physical pain and suffering due to injuries. For example, in a wrongful death claim, pain and suffering can be filed on behalf of the deceased from their suffering prior to their death.
However, the claimant cannot file for their own pain and suffering as a family member of the deceased, as they were not physically injured by the defendant to cause this suffering.
Loss of enjoyment of life specifically refers to an inability to enjoy activities that the individual once loved.
For example, a married couple that used to go sailing together every weekend. One spouse is now deceased due to someone else’s negligence. The surviving spouse can no longer enjoy this activity with their partner.
How are damages calculated for loss of enjoyment of life claims?
Loss of enjoyment of life damages are not easily calculated. Courts will factor in the loss’s impact on the individual’s activities.
The age of the victim plays an important role in calculating damages for loss of enjoyment claims. Courts will often give a higher award of damages for younger claimants who statistically have a longer period of suffering ahead of them.
Additionally, courts consider the educational background of the victim, their employment history, and where they lived throughout their life.
The types of activities the individual can no longer perform will also factor into loss of enjoyment damage claims. If you cannot do things that you liked to do, but they were trivial pursuits, then you are likely to receive a lower award of damages. However, if the activities you enjoyed significantly factored into your personality and enjoyment of life, then you will be awarded a larger sum.
Non-Economic Wrongful Death Damages
Non-economic damages refer to emotional losses that are not easily quantifiable.
They can refer to a loss of comfort, loss of training and discipline, loss of marital relations (for the spouse), loss of parental care and consortium (for children/parents), and loss of services (future lost earning capacity).
These are claimed by parents, spouses, and children of the deceased individual. Although these individuals may not have perished as their loved one did, the courts recognize that they also suffer from the effects of the accident.
While filing for wrongful death damages, family members can also file for their own emotional losses. This allows them to get the damages they need to mourn in peace while they are able to maintain their lifestyle.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If your loved one died due to wrongful death, you need the assistance of a qualified attorney who knows how to prove loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today to learn what damages you are entitled to.