Damages in a Georgia personal injury include economic losses, such as loss of income, property damages, and medical bills. They also include pain and suffering damages. These damages are commonly referred to as non-economic damages.
Quality of life is included within the non-economic damages category. It refers to the adverse impact injuries and accidents have on a person’s life.
If another party caused your injury, you can recover compensation for diminished quality of life. However, you have the burden of proving your claim. Learn more about quality of life damages and how an attorney can help you recover maximum value for your case here.
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What Are Quality of Life Damages in an Augusta Personal Injury Case?
Each person defines their quality of life differently. Quality of life may refer to good health and happiness for some individuals. Other people may view quality of life as maintaining a specific standard of living.
In a personal injury case, quality of life includes many things that impact our enjoyment of life, convenience, and mental well-being. To place a value on diminished quality of life damages, we look at how the accident and injuries impacted each of these areas.
Factors that impact a person’s quality of life include, but are not limited to nor apply in each person’s case:
- Where a person lives and works
- The ability to care for one’s needs, including feeding, dressing, bathing, and grooming
- Feeling secure and safe
- The ability to have/raise children
- Personal relationships with family members, friends, and other people
- The ability to enjoy and participate in favorite activities
- Personal reputation and social status
- Choosing a career path
- The ability to work and earn an income
- Physical and mental health
- The ability to obtain skills and education
A person’s quality of life is subjective. Therefore, we rely on testimony from the victim, family members, and friends to describe how the victim’s life has changed since the accident. We also use medical records and opinions from expert witnesses to support the claim. Experts could include medical specialists, life care professionals, vocational experts, and mental health professionals.
Factors That Impact the Value of a Quality of Life Claim in Augusta, GA
Placing a value on diminished quality of life is challenging. Two people with the same injury may experience very different impacts. It depends, in part, on the person’s quality of life before the injury.
There is no standard definition or formula to judge how an injury impacts a person’s quality of life. Instead, we analyze the factors that could decrease a person’s enjoyment of life to determine the severity of the impact of injuries on quality of life. Those factors include, but are not limited to:
- The injuries you sustain and the medical treatment required for the injuries
- The severity and extent of disabilities and impairments caused by the injuries
- The ability to perform activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, feeding, dressing, and more)
- A person’s appearance before and after an injury (i.e., scarring and disfigurement)
- Age and overall health at the time of the injury
- How the injuries impact personal relationships
- The prognosis given by doctors and medical specialists
- The need for ongoing medical care and treatment
- Whether a person can conceive and/or care for children
- Whether a person can enjoy the same or similar activities given their injuries
The more significant the impact on your life, activities, and mental health, the greater the value of diminished quality of life damages. The value of the claim may also increase when a person’s prognosis is unlikely to change because no medical treatment is expected to improve the person’s physical condition.
Using the Multiplier Method To Place a Price on Quality of Life Damages
Some parties may use the per diem method of calculating the value of non-economic damages to put a value on diminished quality of life. However, the per diem method is used when someone is expected to recover fully from their injuries. Instead, the multiplier method is a more common method of valuing pain and suffering damages.
We examine and analyze each factor that impacts quality of life to determine the extent of the adverse impact on a person’s life. A multiplier between 1.5 and five is assigned based on these factors. The more severe the impact, the higher the multiplier.
The multiplier is multiplied by the total of economic damages. The result is the value of non-economic damages, including quality of life.
For example, a person with partial paralysis may have a multiplier of five. If their past and future economic damages total $10 million, non-economic damages would total $50 million.
Experienced Augusta personal injury lawyers use a variety of evidence to prove diminished quality of life. Evidence can include testimony from the victim, medical records, expert opinions, photographs, and statements from family and friends.
Call for a Free Consultation With an Augusta Personal Injury Lawyer
An accident or personal injury can significantly impact your quality of life. You deserve compensation for the negative impacts on your life caused by another party’s negligence. Call Hawk Law Group for a free case evaluation with an experienced Augusta personal injury attorney.