Your quality of life refers to your enjoyment of life and your overall well-being. People might define the quality of life differently. However, most people can describe a decline in quality of life when it happens to them, notwithstanding its subjective nature.
An accident or injury can significantly impact your quality of life. Permanent impairments, disabilities, disfigurements, and other situations can cause you to lose your enjoyment of life. In a personal injury case, you can be compensated for diminished quality of life with your non-economic damages.
Defining Quality of Life for a Dallas Personal Injury Case
Quality of life is measured by the negative and positive elements in your life. The elements we use to determine someone’s quality of life can include, but are not limited to:
- Wealth and financial stability
- Physical health
- Emotional and mental health
- Relationships with other people
- Social status and reputation
- The ability to work and earn income
- Independence in decision-making
- A sense of safety and security
- The ability to care for personal needs
- Education and skills
- The ability to participate in enjoyable activities
A personal injury can drastically change your quality of life. For some individuals, an accident causes an injury that impacts several areas of their life. The greater the extent of the impact on various aspects of life, the greater the potential for the injury to decrease the person’s quality of life.
Calculating a Decrease in Quality of Life for Personal Injury Damages
There is no standard formula for measuring the change in a person’s quality of life after an accident or personal injury. Likewise, no standard equation exists to place a value on a decrease in quality of life. Instead, we value non-economic damages by using various factors to estimate how the injury or accident impacted the person’s quality of life.
A claim for decreased quality of life is part of your pain and suffering damages. The multiplier method is a common way of calculating the value of pain and suffering damages.
The parties agree on a number between 1.5 and five (the multiplier). The more significant the impact the injuries have on your life, the higher the number. You multiply the number by the total economic damages in the case to place a value on non-economic damages, including diminished quality of life.
Factors Used To Choose a Multiplier for Quality of Life Damages
As mentioned above, we look at various factors to determine an accident or personal injury’s impact on a person’s quality of life. Ideally, you do not want to choose the multiplier until you complete medical treatment. You cannot know the extent an injury has on your life until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and determine the severity of the impairment.
Factors we consider when determining how the injury impacts your quality of life include, but are not limited to:
- The type and severity of the injuries
- The degree the injuries have on your normal daily activities
- The doctor’s prognosis and impairment rating
- Your current agent and life expectancy
- Whether you sustained substantial scarring or disfigurement that impacts your appearance
- Your attempts to mitigate damages to improve your quality of life after the accident
- Your overall enjoyment of life before the injury and now
- The ability to care for your personal needs and activities of daily living, including eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, and more.
- Whether you can care for your children
- The impact the injury has on personal relationships
- Opinions of expert witnesses, mental health professionals, and medical specialists
None of these factors have a greater priority than any other. They are also considered together as part of your overall quality of life.
How Does Being Partially To Blame for an Accident Impact Claims for Diminished Quality of Life?
You cannot recover damages if you are more than 50% at fault for causing your injuries. If your percentage of fault is 50% or below, you can recover damages. However, your damages are reduced by your percentage of fault.
Let’s assume that a jury awards you $600,000 for damages caused by a car wreck, including a decrease in your quality of life. However, the jurors decided you were 30% to blame for causing the accident.
In this case, you would only receive $420,000 because your compensation would be reduced by 30%.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Claims of Diminished Quality of Life in Dallas, TX?
Most personal injury claims in Texas must be filed within two years from the injury date. Diminished quality of life claims are included in the personal injury claim.
However, there are exceptions to the rule that could change the deadline. Therefore, call our Dallas personal injury law firm today to avoid missing the deadline to file a personal injury claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Dallas Personal Injury Lawyers
At the Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team fights to recover the maximum value for your personal injury claim. We believe you deserve to be compensated fully for all damages caused by a negligent party. Call our law firm today at (214) 855-1420 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney.