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Quality of Life

Quality of LifeQuality of life encompasses numerous factors contributing to someone’s overall well-being and enjoyment of life.

A decrease in quality of life occurs when an accident or personal injury has an adverse impact on one or more areas of life.

Diminished quality of life is often included in an accident victim’s non-economic damages when they file a personal injury claim.

What Does Quality of Life Represent in an Austin Personal Injury Case?

What Does Quality of Life Represent in an Austin Personal Injury Case?A person’s quality of life encompasses much more than pain and suffering.

Quality of life includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physical health
  • Mental and emotional health
  • Financial stability and wealth
  • Ability to work
  • Sense of security and safety
  • Education
  • Relationships
  • Social status
  • Reputation
  • Autonomy in decision-making

A personal injury or accident can have life-altering consequences for the victim. Their injuries can change aspects of their life they never expected to change.

For example, a car accident injury could prevent someone from being able to return to the career they had before the crash. However, the injury could also cause an impairment that prevents the person from having children.

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How Do You Calculate Diminished Quality of Life Damages?

It is impossible to put a price on someone’s suffering. However, the only way to compensate a person for pain and suffering is a monetary award for non-economic damages.

The multiplier method is a common standard used to calculate the value of reduced quality of life damages. It multiplies the value of a victim’s economic damages by a number between 1.5 and five to calculate the value of non-economic damages, including diminished quality of life.

The multiplier is chosen based on the extent of harm to the victim’s life caused by their injuries. The multiplier increases as the severity of the harm increases.

In personal injury cases, the insurance company and injured party typically negotiate the multiplier to use. If the case goes to trial, the jurors determine the multiplier used to calculate the personal injury victim’s diminished quality of life damages.

Factors to Consider When Placing a Value on Quality of Life Damages

Many factors are used to determine how a personal injury impacts a person’s quality of life. Each person’s experience is unique.

However, factors used to determine how much an injury or accident impacts a victim’s quality of life include, but are not limited to:

  • The type of injuries sustained
  • The severity of the injuries, including whether the victim sustained a permanent impairment or disability
  • The doctor’s prognosis
  • The victim’s attempts to mitigate damages to improve their quality of life after the injury
  • The victim’s age and life expectancy
  • Testimony from the victim
  • Opinions and testimony from expert witnesses
  • The victim’s appearance after and before the injury
  • The degree to which the injury impacts the victim’s daily life
  • The victim’s overall enjoyment of life before the accident compared to after healing from injuries
  • The victim’s ability to take care of their personal needs or activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, dressing, eating, etc.)
  • The impact on relationships with family members and friends
  • The degree to which the victim’s ordinary daily activities are affected

The multiplier increases as the severity of the effects on everyday life increases. For example, suppose a person sustains a spinal cord injury that results in complete paralysis. Because their entire life changes, the multiplier might be five.

However, a broken bone that heals over a few months and causes no permanent damage could result in a multiplier on the lower end of the scale.

Does Shared Fault Apply to Diminished Quality of Life Claims in Austin, TX?

Modified comparative fault decreases the amount you receive for damages by your percentage of fault. If you are more than 50% to blame for the cause of your injury, you are barred from receiving any money for your claim. This Texas law applies to claims for diminished quality of life.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Diminished Quality of Life Claim in Austin, TX?

A diminished quality of life claim is part of your personal injury claim. The statute of limitations in Texas for most personal injury claims is two years. That includes motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and product liability claims.

However, there are exceptions to the general rule. For example, claims against government entities generally require that you provide notice of your claim to protect your right to sue within six months of the injury date. The City of Austin has a 45-day deadline for filing a notice of claim.

It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury. An attorney will determine the filing deadline for your case based on the facts and circumstances specific to your injury or accident.

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An Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Quality of Life Damages

A personal injury can cause devastating injuries. You should be compensated fully for all damages, including your pain and suffering and diminished quality of life. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from FVF Law by calling (512) 982-9328 for a free consultation.

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