When another party causes you harm or injury, that party can be held liable for damages under California personal injury laws. Your claim includes economic damages for your financial losses, such as lost wages and medical bills. However, personal injury claims also include compensation for non-economic damages, including diminished quality of life.
Accident injuries can adversely affect a person’s quality of life. Disabilities, impairments, scarring, and disfigurement can cause you to lose your enjoyment of life. Your injuries can cause significant changes that decrease your standard of living.
Catastrophic injuries are often associated with diminished quality of life claims. However, all injuries have the potential to impact your quality of life. Our Vista personal injury lawyers work with you to recover a fair settlement for all damages you sustain because of an accident or injury.
How Do You Measure Someone’s Quality of Life for a California Personal Injury Case?
Quality of life is subjective. It refers to the positive and negative elements that impact a person’s enjoyment of life and overall well-being. Factors used to determine someone’s quality of life include, but are not limited to:
- Mental and physical health
- The independence to make decisions for oneself
- Financial stability, wealth, and standard of living
- Skills and education
- Relationships with family members, friends, and other people
- The ability to work and earn an income
- A sense of security and safety
- The ability to conceive children
- Being able to care for children and play an active role in their lives
- Reputation and social status
- The ability to care for personal needs
- Being able to participate in and enjoy activities
The type and severity of an injury can significantly change a person’s quality of life. They might no longer be able to care for their basic needs or enjoy activities they did before the injury. The more significant the impact on various elements of a person’s life, the greater the claim for diminished quality of life.
How Do You Place a Value on a Diminished Quality of Life Claim?
Quality of life claims are included in non-economic damages. These damages are intangible, so no specific monetary value is assigned to the damage. Therefore, putting a price on a decrease in quality of life can be challenging.
The multiplier method is a common standard for calculating the value of diminished quality of life. A number (multiplier) is chosen based on the severity of the impact the injuries have on the person’s life.
The multiplier is a number between 1.5 and five. The greater the impact caused by the injuries, the higher the multiplier. You multiply the number by the total economic damages to calculate the value of pain and suffering damages, including quality of life damages.
What Factors Are Used To Choose a Multiplier for Calculating Loss of Quality of Life Claims?
The factors we use to choose a multiplier can vary by case. However, common factors used when calculating quality of life claims include:
- The type of injury you sustained and the medical procedures required to treat your injuries
- The severity of the injury, including permanent impairments and disabilities
- Your appearance before and after the injury (i.e., the level of disfigurement and scarring)
- Whether you can conceive and care for children
- The ability to return to your job
- Your age and estimated life expectancy
- The prognosis from your doctor and medical specialists
- Whether you can perform activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, and feeding yourself
- Your overall enjoyment of life before and after the injury
- The impact your injury has on personal relationships
All factors are considered. There is no priority for considering the factors. However, some factors might be more significant depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
How Do Allegations of Blame for Causing the Accident Impact Diminished Quality Claims?
California uses a pure comparative fault standard for personal injury cases. Therefore, you can be partially to blame for causing your injury and still recover compensation for damages. However, the amount of compensation you receive is reduced by your level of fault.
Therefore, suppose a jury awards you $1 million for a truck accident case. However, the jurors determined you were 50% to blame for causing the truck crash. In that case, you would receive $500,000 for your claim.
Insurance companies and at-fault parties use allegations of contributory fault to avoid paying the total value of a personal injury claim. The statements you make could be used to imply an admission of fault. Allowing an attorney to handle all communications with insurance companies and third parties is best.
What Is the Deadline for Filing Diminished Quality of Life Claims in California?
A statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Most personal injury claims have a two-year deadline in California. However, exceptions can change the deadline, so contact our law firm as soon as possible to avoid losing your right to sue the party who caused your injury.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Vista Personal Injury Lawyers
Sadly, a personal injury or accident can have life-altering consequences for accident victims. You deserve to be compensated for all damages caused by another party, including a decrease in your quality of life. Contact Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Vista personal injury attorney at (619) 344-0360 to discuss how much your case is worth.