Suing Someone for Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2023 at 8:25 pm    

Every Oklahoma resident deserves to enjoy their life to the fullest. Whether that means running a marathon, cooking a gourmet meal, or playing catch with your kids in the backyard, these precious moments make life worth living. But what happens when an accident takes away your ability to enjoy these activities? This is where the concept of “loss of enjoyment of life” comes into play in personal injury lawsuits.

At Abel Law Firm, our Oklahoma personal injury attorneys have seen how devastating injuries can upend people’s lives. If your injuries keep you from fully enjoying your life, we’re here to help you recover fair compensation. Keep reading for more information on suing someone for loss of enjoyment of life.

What Is Loss of Enjoyment of Life?

Loss of enjoyment of life, also known as “hedonic damages,” is a legal term that refers to the negative impacts an injury has on your ability to enjoy the day-to-day activities, hobbies, and experiences that used to bring you joy and satisfaction. This isn’t limited to just physical activities either. It could be that your injury prevents you from enjoying social events, hobbies, or even simple things like reading a book if it has caused you significant vision impairment.

Imagine, for a moment, a dedicated amateur guitarist who loses a finger in an accident. She can no longer play her instrument and cannot express herself as she once could. That’s a loss of enjoyment of life. Or consider a grandfather who, after an accident, can no longer lift his grandkids. His relationship with them is forever changed. This, too, is a loss of enjoyment of life.

How to Prove Loss of Enjoyment of Life

The loss of enjoyment of life after an accident is often profound, but proving it in a legal sense may seem challenging. It’s not as clear-cut as showing medical bills or demonstrating lost wages. However, you can successfully demonstrate this loss to the court with strategic planning, effective representation, and a clear understanding of your life before and after the accident. Here’s how:

  • Document Your Life Before the Accident: Proving the loss of enjoyment of life starts with showing the quality and enjoyment of your life before the injury. Photos, videos, and testimonies from friends and family can be invaluable in painting a picture of who you were before the accident. Loved running marathons? Have pictures of you crossing the finish line. Passionate about painting? Show your artwork or pictures of you in your studio.
  • Medical Records and Expert Testimony: Medical records detailing your injuries, their severity, and the subsequent impact on your life can form the cornerstone of your claim. Professional opinions from medical experts can further support your claim by explaining how the injuries limit your abilities.
  • Personal Testimony: Your words about how the accident has impacted your day-to-day life can create a compelling picture of your loss. Were you an active parent who can’t play with your children as you used to? Were you an avid traveler who can’t bear long journeys anymore? Your story matters.
  • Demonstrate Ongoing Struggles: Show the jury the daily struggles you face due to your injury. This could be the need for assistive devices, an inability to perform certain tasks without help, or the need for ongoing medical care and physical therapy.
  • Psychological Evaluation: Mental and emotional health is crucial to your overall well-being. If your enjoyment of life has been affected psychologically, a professional assessment can provide solid evidence of this.

Remember, every individual is unique, and so is every personal injury claim. What worked for one person may not work for another. That’s why having a skilled attorney to guide you through this process is crucial.

Compensation for Loss of Enjoyment of Life

In 2019, the Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned a law that placed a cap on compensation for non-economic losses in personal injury cases, so there’s no limit to how much you can recover for loss of enjoyment of life. That said, how much you can recover depends on several factors, including:

  • The severity of your physical injuries
  • The impact your injuries have on your daily life
  • Your age and life expectancy
  • The mental and emotional effects of your injuries

Deadline to File a Claim for Loss of Enjoyment of Life

According to Oklahoma law, the standard deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from when you suffered your injury. That said, there are exceptions to this rule, and in some cases, you may only have weeks or months to take legal action. Talk to an attorney immediately after an accident to avoid hiccups with your personal injury claim.

Contact an Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney Today

You have the right to compensation if an accident keeps you from thoroughly enjoying your life. Our dedicated and compassionate attorneys can handle all the legal work in your case while you tend to your medical treatments and focus on your recovery. Call (405) 239-7046 today or fill out our contact form for a complimentary consultation.