Quality of Life

Quality of life is a broad term that refers to a person’s standard of living and overall well-being. It refers to a collection of factors regarding a person’s life, including their mental and physical health, relationships, economic and social status, occupation, happiness, education, and sense of security. 

If you’ve been seriously injured in Illinois, the effects of your injury can impact your quality of life. For instance, an injury or disability may prevent you from engaging in activities that used to bring you joy, reduce your ability to earn an income, or cause depression that interferes with your ability to enjoy life.

In a personal injury claim, a victim can seek compensation for their losses–including reduced quality of life. These losses are referred to as damages. To better understand damages for loss of quality of life, it’s helpful to overview damages in general.

What Types of Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Cases in Illinois?

What Types of Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Cases in Illinois?

Damages under Illinois personal injury law are divided into two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages refer to tangible losses that often can be quantified with receipts or documentation. Medical expenses, property damages, and lost wages all fall within this category. 

Conversely, non-economic damages refer to losses that are more vague and difficult to compute. They include pain and suffering, emotional and psychological trauma, disability, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life.

What is Loss of Quality of Life?

Quality of life is specific to each person. It concerns a person’s daily activities, hobbies, relationships, plans for the future, and general outlook on life. It involves the collection of things in a life that a person derives enjoyment and value from. When one or more of these things are removed or diminished, the person’s quality of life can be damaged.

Because quality of life is particular to each person, calculating damages for loss of quality of life requires considering a victim’s internal, subjective experience after their injury.

Reduced quality of life may be caused by things like physical pain, humiliation, and worry or anxiety. It also may be caused by the inability to participate in activities one used to enjoy or would have been able to enjoy in the future–like playing with one’s children or participating in sports. It may also be caused by sterility, loss of companionship by the death or injury of a loved one, or loss of enjoyment of life.

How Are Damages For Reduced Quality of Life Calculated in Illinois?

As discussed above, quality of life is specific to each person. Accordingly, there is no set formula for calculating loss of quality of life in Illinois. Instead, it is calculated on a case-by-case basis.

When calculating the value of a reduced quality of life claim, an attorney, insurance company, jury, or other party will examine many factors. 

These include personal factors like the victim’s age, work history, education, personality, location, social status, and financial status. Other factors include circumstances surrounding the accident that caused the injury, such as what took place, who was at fault, and whether the victim bears some responsibility. 

Last, the decision maker may consider evidence of the injuries, including their severity, expected future consequences of those injuries, and the likelihood that they will improve over time.

Evidence of these factors may be presented in various ways. One way is through witness testimony by people who knew the victim before the injury or who observed the accident. It may also be presented by testimony from expert witnesses, such as medical or mental health professionals, who can explain the long-term impacts of an injury. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather and present evidence to support your reduced quality of life claim.

What is the Purpose of Awarding Damages for Loss of Quality of Life in Illinois?

Reduced quality of life can be difficult to define and even more difficult to assign a monetary value to. However, a serious injury can change your life in many unexpected ways. The purpose of recovering damages for loss of quality of life is to help make up for some of those changes. 

For example, a disability may change a person’s ability to work and participate in activities they once enjoyed, which ultimately may cause severe strain on their marriage or family. While this change in quality of life is not quantifiable, damages for loss of quality of life seek to compensate the victim for their losses.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Reduced Quality of Life Claim

A Naperville personal injury lawyer can gather evidence to support your loss of quality of life claim. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney to learn more about the damages you can recover in your case, including loss of quality of life.