An injury can often prevent you from taking part in sports, hobbies, or other recreational activities that you regularly participated in, especially if your injury is serious and debilitating. Similarly, an injury may prevent you from receiving the satisfaction or pleasure that you regularly received from participating in certain in cerebral or intellectual activities.
Both loss of the ability to engage in physical activities and intellectual activities can be a tremendous adverse change in your lifestyle and both can greatly reduce or diminish the pleasure you used to experience out of life. For this reason, both the inability to engage in physical activities and the inability to participate in intellectual activities is compensable via an award of financial damages in your personal injury claim.
Let’s first look at how this works with physical activities. For example, if you suffered a back strain from a car accident and your back pain prevents you from engaging in the physical recreational activities of running and mountain biking that you used to do a couple of times per week prior to the accident, your enjoyment of life is diminished because you can no longer enjoy participating in those activities that gave you satisfaction or gratification. You are entitled to financial compensation for this loss of enjoyment of life.
The same goes for intellectual activities. If, for example, you or a loved one has suffered a head injury and as a result are no longer able to read books or play bridge, activities you used to enjoy before the accident that resulted in your head injury. This loss of the enjoyment of partaking in these intellectual activities is also compensable in the form of an award of financial damages for loss of enjoyment of life.
Just how much compensation is one entitled to? While question of the appropriate amount of compensation is largely within the jury’s discretion (assuming the case goes to trial), often a good way to understand what a jury might award for impaired enjoyment of life is to ask your family and friends how much they would be willing to accept as compensation if they were to be stripped of the ability to engage in a recreational activity that they regularly participate in and derive pleasure from.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury that as adversely affected your life and ability to enjoy the things you once used to derive pleasure from, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to give you an idea of the amount of financial compensation you can reasonably expect to obtain.