Louisiana personal injury laws allow victims to receive compensation for damages when another party causes them injury or harm. The damages they can receive include reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages. However, injured victims can also recover compensation for their non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages represent the intangible harm caused by an injury or accident. It is the pain and suffering you experience because of the other party’s actions. These damages include diminished quality of life.
What Does Quality of Life Mean?
Quality of life can mean many things to different people. It is subjective, so the definition can vary. Generally, quality of life encompasses the negative and positive elements of a person’s life that affect their well-being and enjoyment of life.
There is no standard formula to measure a person’s quality of life. Instead, we examine the factors that can impact the level of enjoyment someone might receive from life. Factors that can impact your quality of life include, but are not limited to:
- Your standard of living, including wealth and stability
- The ability to care for personal needs and make decisions for yourself
- Education, skills, and career choice
- Physical and mental health
- Social status and reputation
- Being able to work and earn an income
- Participating in activities that you enjoy
- The ability to conceive and raise children
- Relationships with family members, friends, and others
- Feeling secure and safe
Catastrophic injuries can impact your quality of life. They can change whether you can care for yourself and your family members. In addition, a catastrophic injury can affect your ability to work and participate in activities.
However, all injuries have the potential to impact a person’s quality of life. The type and severity of the injury are factors. The person’s quality of life before the injury is also a factor.
Calculating the Value of a Diminished Quality of Life Claim
As there is no standard formula to measure quality of life, there is no statutory formula for calculating the value of a diminished quality of life claim. Therefore, courts, insurance companies, and attorneys often use the multiplier method to determine how much a quality of life claim is worth.
The multiplier method is a common way to place a value on an injured victim’s overall non-economic damages claim. It requires the parties to choose a number between 1.5 and five. Then, that number is multiplied by the value of the economic damages. The result is the value of non-economic damages, including a decrease in quality of life.
Choosing the number to use as the multiplier is arbitrary. No statute or law states how to determine the multiplier. Therefore, we review the facts of the case to choose the number that will be the multiplier.
Factors That Could Impact the Multiplier Used To Calculate Quality of Life Claims
The multiplier should reflect how a person’s injuries and suffering impacted their life. Therefore, the multiplier increases as the severity of the injuries and harm to the person increases.
Factors we consider to measure the severity of the impact injuries have on a person’s life include, but are not limited to:
- The type of injuries you sustained
- Whether the injuries resulted in a permanent impairment, disability, scarring, or disfigurement
- Your appearance before and after your injury
- The prognosis by medical specialists and your physicians
- Your current age
- Whether you can conceive children or engage in sexual relations with your partner
- If you can return to work or earn any substantial amount of money
- Whether you can take care of your personal needs and perform activities of daily living, including bathing, grooming, dressing, and feeding yourself.
- Your overall enjoyment of life before the accident
- The type of activities you enjoyed before the injury and whether you can participate in those activities now
- The impact the injuries have on your personal relationships
Other factors might be considered depending on the person injured and the case’s circumstances. All factors are considered without placing extra emphasis on a specific set of factors.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Diminished Quality of Life Claim in Louisiana?
A claim for damages caused by a decreased quality of life is included in your personal injury claim as part of your non-economic damages. The statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in Louisiana is short. It is one year after the accident or date of injury.
Therefore, if you do not file a personal injury lawsuit within a year, the court could dismiss your lawsuit. There could be exceptions that change the deadline. We encourage you to contact our Lafayette personal injury lawyers today to protect your legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyers
You deserve fair compensation for all damages, including how your injuries impact your quality of life. Our Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Kenny Habetz Injury Law fight to recover a top-dollar settlement or jury award for your personal injury claim. Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation with an attorney.