Suffering severe or catastrophic injuries in a Michigan car accident can affect more than just your physical health. You might find it difficult or impossible to perform certain activities or enjoy the lifestyle you were accustomed to before you got hurt. Can you recover compensation for this loss of enjoyment of life? In Michigan, the answer depends on the nature of your injuries.
In some instances, you might be able to hold the at-fault party accountable for lost enjoyment of life. Doing so could help you gain a measure of justice and financial compensation so you can move on with your life and live with the dignity you deserve.
The respected team of trial lawyers at Christensen Law is committed to helping crash victims recover money that accounts for the full extent of their losses after a wreck. While no amount of money can undo the effects of your injuries on the life you once had, you can hold the at-fault party responsible for their negligence. Call or contact us today for a free consultation with an Ann Arbor car accident lawyer.
Defining Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Loss of enjoyment of life refers to how severe injuries impact the overall quality of a person’s life after an accident.
A catastrophic injury could significantly alter how a person lives and impact their ability to earn a living, engage in hobbies or other activities, and interact with family and friends. When an injury is severe enough to affect these aspects of a person’s life, the individual might be entitled to seek compensation for loss of enjoyment of life in a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Injuries That Can Impair Your Ability to Enjoy Life
Not all car accident injuries will significantly impact an individual’s life. The worst injuries significantly impact the victim’s life far into the future. These injuries may affect mobility, brain function, coordination, and sensory perception. Examples of injuries that could negatively impact a person’s enjoyment of life include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
- Severe soft tissue damage
- Injuries that impact the function of internal organs
When a severe injury prevents a person from working, enjoying recreational activities, or maintaining personal relationships, they could be entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment of life. Working with a proven car accident lawyer is crucial in these cases. Unlike loss of future earnings, loss of enjoyment of life is a non-economic loss and not covered under Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws. Obtaining compensation for non-economic damages can only come through a car accident lawsuit against the negligent party.
How to Calculate Loss of Enjoyment of Life
How do you put a price on your enjoyment of life? It’s not something you can calculate easily. Medical bills and receipts can’t quantify it. It’s an intangible loss that hurts just as much as the financial costs of a wreck — and maybe even more.
Here are some factors to consider when placing a value on a claim for loss of enjoyment of life:
- The victim’s age
- Physical appearance
- Work history
- Severity of the injuries
- Long-term implications of the injuries
- How injuries impact the types of activities the victim engaged in before the accident
A young person may receive more compensation for loss of enjoyment of life compared to an older individual because their impairments will affect them for a longer time. Similarly, victims with severe limitations due to their injuries may recover more in compensation than someone with serious injuries but fewer impairments. Still, compensation is decided on a case-by-case basis. Talk to an Ann Arbor car accident lawyer for a better idea of the money you might be entitled to for loss of enjoyment of life.
How to Prove Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The burden of establishing loss of enjoyment of life is placed on the victim. You need to show you engaged in certain activities before the auto accident and can no longer do them because of your injuries. An injury restricting your ability to climb Mount Everest is not compensable if you never tried to reach the top before.
Seeking and continuing medical treatment is one of the best ways to establish loss of enjoyment of life. Medical documentation can show what you were able to accomplish before the crash compared to your current limitations. Your account of how life has changed following the accident will also be valuable. Testimony from friends and family members can also strengthen your claim.
In addition, photos, videos, and travel or activity receipts can prove your activity level before the car accident. Put together, this evidence can help build a compelling case for why you deserve compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
When Does Loss of Enjoyment of Life Not Apply?
To pursue compensation for loss of enjoyment of life in Ann Arbor, car accident victims must sustain a serious injury as defined by state law. To meet this threshold, the injury must cause:
- Severe impairment of bodily function
- Scarring or disfigurement
If an injury does not meet these criteria, victims cannot pursue compensation for non-economic damages like lost enjoyment of life.
Loss of enjoyment of life also won’t apply if the victim can still participate in the activities they once enjoyed before the crash. It may also not be applicable in cases where a person claims their ability to engage in an activity is impacted, but there is no proof that they ever participated in it.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Ann Arbor Car Accident Attorney
At Christensen Law, we know the toll severe and catastrophic injuries can have on a person’s life. Our attorneys have recovered multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for Michiganders hurt in motor vehicle accidents since 1991.
When you work with us, you get lawyers who care about you, not just winning your case. A successful outcome is always the priority, but not at the sacrifice of personal relationships. We’re here to listen to you and fight for the compensation you need and deserve.