Quality of Life

“Quality of life” is a term that refers to one’s standard of health, happiness, and general comfort. If any of the following areas of your life is impacted, it will likely affect your overall quality of life: mental and physical health, education, relationships, financial and social status, or occupation.

For example, if you were injured in a car accident in Harrisburg and can no longer go to work or participate in hobbies you enjoy, your quality of life may be diminished. 

If you pursue a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for your injuries and other losses, including reduced quality of life. These losses are referred to as damages

Let’s look at damages for quality of life in more detail. To do so, we’ll begin with an overview of damages in general.

What Types of Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Cases in Pennsylvania?

Personal injury victims in Pennsylvania can recover compensation for two main types of losses: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to the financial costs of an accident or injury. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage. 

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to the emotional, physical, or psychological consequences of an accident.  They include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, disability, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of quality of life.

What is Loss of Quality of Life?

Quality of life is subjective and means something different to each person. Thus, to assess loss of quality of life, we must first look at the whole picture of a person’s life. This includes their hobbies, relationships, career, routines, future plans, and overall outlook on life. 

In short, we must examine the things that give someone’s life meaning and pleasure. If those things have been diminished or negatively impacted, so has that person’s quality of life.  

Because quality of life is particular to each person, calculating related damages requires considering a victim’s internal, subjective experience after their injury.

For example, one’s quality of life may be reduced by being unable to participate in activities they once enjoyed–such as reading or socializing. Someone may be negatively impacted by sterility or loss of companionship due to their injury. 

Reduced quality of life may be caused by things like physical pain, humiliation, worry, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder and their impacts on daily activities. 

How Are Reduced Quality of Life Damages Calculated in Pennsylvania?

There’s no simple formula for calculating the value of damages for loss of quality of life. Several factors must be evaluated. Because quality of life is unique to each person, these factors must be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

These include personal factors like the victim’s age, work history, education, personality, location, social status, and financial status. 

They also include factors relating to the accident itself, such as the circumstances of the accident, who was at fault, and whether the victim was partially to blame.

Finally, they include details of the harm suffered, including the severity of injuries, the expected future consequence of those injuries, and the possibility of improvement. 

If a case is filed, the injured party will need to present evidence of these factors. This may be done through testimony of witnesses who knew the victim before and after the injury, by witnesses who saw the accident, and even by expert witnesses, such as medical professionals, who can speak to the long-term impacts of an injury. 

An experienced Harrisburg personal injury lawyer can help you collect evidence to support your reduced quality of life claim.

What is the Purpose of Awarding Damages for Loss of Quality of Life?

The purpose of compensatory damages, in general, is to make an injured party “whole again” after an injury. However, because it’s impossible to reverse an injury and its impacts, the law awards financial compensation to victims. Serious injuries can change one’s life in many ways, and the purpose of these damages is to make up for some of those changes.  

For example, an injury could cause someone to lose their job and distance themselves from friends and family. While this change in quality of life is not quantifiable, damages for loss of quality of life seek to compensate the victim for their losses.

Contact an Experienced Harrisburg Personal Injury Attorney for Help With Your Reduced Quality of Life Claim

A lawyer at Marzzacco Niven & Associates can help you navigate the legal process if you were injured in an accident. This includes assessing your damages for loss of quality of life and gathering evidence to support this claim. 

To learn more about the damages in your case, including loss of quality of life, schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney by calling our office at (717) 231-1640, in Harrisburg, PA.