The term “loss of enjoyment” seems pretty straightforward, and in some ways, it is. It means exactly what it seems like: a person has lost an element of enjoyment in his or her life. But even a simple term can become complicated and have far-reaching implications in the American legal system.
After an accident, it is important to understand concepts like loss of enjoyment. These kinds of losses are not as simple to explain as “economic damages,” which include the hard costs of your lost wages or your medical bills. But calculating your loss of enjoyment is vital to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve after a serious accident, and it’s a service the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, provides to all clients.
What Is Loss of Enjoyment?
From a legal perspective, “loss of enjoyment” or “loss of enjoyment of life” refers to the ways in which a serious injury impacts someone’s quality of life, so they receive less enjoyment from the things they were able to do before the accident.
For example, consider a woman who is passionate about gardening and likes to spend hours every day kneeling in her garden and tending to plants. She is walking down the street one day and trips on an uneven part of the sidewalk, which the city has been meaning to repair. This causes her to fall, and she suffers a serious knee injury that requires surgery and leaves her with chronic pain in her knees. Now, she cannot spend more than a few minutes kneeling in her garden without being in agony. Due to the fall, her enjoyment of gardening has been greatly diminished—this is a loss of enjoyment.
And since the city was responsible for the upkeep of the dangerous sidewalk, the city should be the one paying for it.
How Is Loss of Enjoyment Calculated?
There are several factors that come into play when a loss of enjoyment is calculated. First of all, it’s important to note that loss of enjoyment is a non-economic damage, so there is no obvious numerical value that can be attached to it, as there is with something like medical bills. As such, there is a lot of leeway and interpretation when it comes to figuring out what a loss of enjoyment is worth, and a good personal injury lawyer can help immeasurably.
Courts and juries will often consider the age of the victim and the severity of the injury. How many more years will the person experience this loss of enjoyment? Younger plaintiffs have better chances of receiving a larger sum because the loss will affect them longer. Catastrophic injures that cause greater pain or interfere with daily life are also more likely to result in greater awards for loss of enjoyment.
What Are Some Other Non-Economic Damages?
Loss of enjoyment of life is not the only non-economic damage a person can seek in Colorado after a serious injury. Some other non-economic damages include things like:
- Pain and Suffering – In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff can seek compensation for the pain he or she suffered or is currently suffering. Chronic pain that is likely to last for years is particularly traumatic.
- Emotional Stress – A plaintiff can also seek compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish. Anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues that arise due to an accident are included in these damages.
- Loss of Consortium – If the plaintiff is married, and injuries from the accident negatively impact his or her ability to be together physically with a spouse, this can be included as part of a lawsuit.
Physical impairments can also be seen as a form of non-economic damages, but in Colorado they are considered separately. These include disfigurements, loss of limbs, paralysis, and similar injuries with long-term or permanent impairments associated with them.
One extra thing we should note is that Colorado does have a “cap” or limit on all non-economic damages in a civil lawsuit, including loss of enjoyment. There is no cap on physical impairment damages, however.
Is a Lawyer Really That Important?
Yes! In any lawsuit, it’s vital to have a knowledgeable and experienced Colorado trial attorney to represent you. Trying to handle a car crash, a workplace injury, or a slip-and-fall by yourself is a huge mistake, especially if you’re badly hurt. You may miss deadlines, improperly file legal paperwork, and not even think to ask for additional damages you deserve. Not having your own lawyer also makes it harder to get a fair settlement or win a lawsuit in court—especially since the other party will certainly have one.
For answers to your questions after suffering a serious injury in Colorado, speak to the Tenge Law Firm, LLC at (303) 665-2929. We offer a free consultation, and we have a track record of success.