What Is Quality of Life?

If you were injured in Illinois, you must prove that the other party is responsible for causing your injury to hold them financially accountable for your damages. 

Once you prove your case, you can seek compensation for your financial losses, such as lost wages, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, and medical bills. These damages are referred to as economic damages.

You may also recover compensation for pain and suffering damages. These damages represent the intangible harm you sustained due to the accident, such as loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and physical pain. They are referred to as non-economic damages.

Diminished quality of life is a type of non-economic damage. It often refers to the decrease in enjoyment and satisfaction of life someone experiences when they sustain a catastrophic injury or long-term impairment. 

What Is Quality of Life in an Illinois Personal Injury Case?

What Is Quality of Life in an Illinois Personal Injury Case?

Quality of life can be defined in many ways. Each person’s unique experiences impact their quality of life, and people define it differently. 

For example, some people equate quality of life with their standard of living or financial stability. Another person might view it in terms of being healthy and happy.

However, a severe injury can impact your enjoyment of life and mental well-being. It can result in a financial crisis that lowers your standard of living. 

Establishing how an injury impacts a person’s quality of life is challenging. 

Therefore, we examine various aspects of a person’s life to determine their quality of life:

  • Their ability to work and earn an income
  • Their chosen career or job
  • Personal reputation and social status
  • Feeling safe and secure
  • Mental and physical health
  • Their ability to have and raise children
  • Relationships with other people in their life
  • The ability to handle daily activities of living, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and feeding oneself
  • The ability to participate in and enjoy activities 

Quality of life is subjective. Therefore, it is different for each person. 

Determining the Impact an Accident and Injury Have on a Person’s Quality of Life

Placing a value on someone’s loss of enjoyment of life is complicated. We must determine how severely the accident and injuries impacted the victim’s life. Because quality of life is an intangible damage, there is no price tag we can attach.

There is no formula or standard definition of how injuries impact quality of life. It depends on the injuries, the person, and other factors. However, we can examine how injuries and accidents have affected various elements of a person’s life to determine the changes in quality of life.

Examples of factors we might consider include:

  • Your appearance before the accident and after sustaining scarring and disfigurement 
  • The type and severity of your injuries, including any impairments or disabling conditions caused by the injuries 
  • The duration of your recovery
  • The type of medical treatments necessary to treat your injuries
  • Whether you can conceive and/or care for children
  • Your overall health and age at the time of the accident
  • The ability to care for your personal needs
  • How your injuries have impacted your personal relationships with others
  • Whether you can enjoy and participate in your favorite activities 
  • The need for ongoing medical treatment and long-term personal care
  • Whether you can return to work and earn a living

Injuries can impact one or more of the above factors, but the severity of the impact differs. Each person experiences different effects from injuries. 

Therefore, our attorneys will work with you, your family members, and your friends to gather testimony explaining how your injuries adversely impacted your quality of life. We may also consult expert witnesses, including mental health professionals, vocational experts, financial planners, life care professionals, and medical specialists, to gather additional evidence.

How Do You Place a Value on Damages for Diminished Quality of Life?

There is no statutory formula or guidelines for calculating the value of diminished quality of life. However, many courts and parties use the multiplier method to value pain and suffering damages. 

First, a number between 1.5 and five is assigned as the multiplier based on factors like those discussed above. As the severity of the injury’s impact on your life increases, so does the multiplier.

Then, we multiply the value of your economic damages by the multiplier. The result is the value of pain and suffering damages, which includes diminished quality of life.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have extensive experience valuing damages. The insurance company will try to undervalue your damages. We’ll demand a fair amount based on the factors in your case. 

A Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Value Your Reduced Quality of Life Damages

You deserve to be compensated for all harm you suffer due to another party’s negligence or intentional torts. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys will fight for fair and just compensation. Contact our office for a free case evaluation by calling (312) 726-1616