What is Loss of Enjoyment of Life in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

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What is Loss of Enjoyment of Life due to Medical Negligence in New Jersey?

After a medical malpractice injury, you may suffer physical pain due to sprains, fractures, cuts, infections, bleeding, and even permanent disability, as well as emotional pain due to overwhelming losses. When your life changes radically due to a medical professional’s carelessness or recklessness, you may lose your sense of joy, purpose, and well-being. Activities you once enjoyed are lost to you, temporarily or permanently, an irreparable loss throughout your life. Loss of life’s enjoyment resulting from a medical malpractice incident is a compensable damage that you may claim when another’s negligence caused you harm. This can apply to a hospital, a physician, a medical specialist, an obstetrician, a surgeon, a radiologist, and many other healthcare providers and facilities who may be held liable for medical malpractice.

Making a medical malpractice victim whole, or as close to how they were before the injury, is the goal of these lawsuits. When a medical professional you entrusted with your life makes inexcusable mistakes, leaving you a mere shadow of your former self, physically, emotionally, or intellectually, you can sue them to make you whole in New Jersey. Since the loss of life is challenging to prove, you need a creative medical malpractice attorney to show what it means to lose the essential parts of a human, their independence, joy, and meaningful existence and put a value on such a loss. Contact the accomplished medical malpractice lawyers at Fronzuto Law Group for help proving your loss of enjoyment of life due to medical negligence anywhere in New Jersey, including in Jersey City, Paterson, New Brunswick, Freehold, Hackensack, Morristown, Summit, or elsewhere throughout the state. For a free consultation, call 973-435-4551 today.

How can Medical Malpractice Affect your Enjoyment of Life?

You may have enjoyed hiking in nature, discussing the latest novels in your book club, or having weekly lunches with old friends. And yet, after a negligent doctor’s or nurse’s mistake left you with migraines and tinnitus (ringing in the ears), you no longer can participate in the activities that gave you so much pleasure. Avoiding natural or artificial light in outdoor and indoor spaces may force you to stay home, isolated, and depressed. When your life’s pleasures are gone due to a physical impairment that someone caused by their inattentiveness, incompetence, or recklessness, you may claim compensation for such losses.

In addition, losing the use of your leg or legs can affect your ability to drive and independently handle your life responsibilities and hobbies. The permanent loss of what you once relished or depended upon to de-stress and enjoy life can be devastating. Perhaps you enjoyed dancing, running, or yoga to keep fit and handle stress. Remaining stationary when you cannot walk without pain affects your physical and mental health. For such diminishment in life’s simple and complex pleasures, a medical malpractice victim deserves compensation for lost quality of life.

Examples of Medical Malpractice Effects on Functional Living

Ordinary daily activities no one thinks about, like opening a refrigerator door or reaching for a plate in a cabinet, may be lost to those with painful neck, back, or spinal injuries. And whether you cook for pleasure or necessity, or both, you may not be able to stand over a stove or bend down to place something in the oven with back and spine injuries. Even cleaning your home becomes impossible when you are in pain. A medical malpractice victim may also experience emotional and psychological trauma that becomes disabling. They may experience depression, insomnia, mood swings, panic attacks, and night terrors, making it impossible to concentrate, eat, or sleep.

The Spectrum of Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Medical negligence often leaves individuals with severe injuries, resulting in sensory, mobility, and sexual function losses. Incorrect diagnoses or surgery mistakes can leave a patient irreparably injured since internal injuries can affect all body parts. And a delayed diagnosis can be fatal. Whether physical or emotional injury—or both—occurs after a medical malpractice injury, you may lose the life you enjoyed in being able to perform ordinary daily care, such as independently eating, bathing, or getting out of bed. You may not be able to walk, stand, sit, or lie down without discomfort or pain. Thus, the range of lost quality of life is vast, from simple loss of enjoyment of your hobbies and recreational activities to near total loss of your life before the injury in the most fundamental aspects of living.

Calculating Compensation for Loss of Enjoyment of Life

The extent of your loss of enjoyment depends on many factors, such as the severity of your injury, the area of the body affected, and the activities you enjoyed before the accident. For example, lost physical abilities may affect someone who participated in competitive sports more than someone who was not a fitness enthusiast. However, physical disability can affect anyone’s daily work and home functioning. So, if you severely injured your hand and can no longer use it, you may not be able to perform your job as a caterer or play tennis with friends, play your cello in the orchestra, or hold your toddling grandchild. You may be unable to open a jar or grip a steering wheel. You may lose the many ways you use your hands to perform practical daily functions.

New Jersey law allows compensation claims for lost pleasure and enjoyment in life. A compensation award seeks to place a value on an injured person’s inability to participate in everyday activities before the injury. When a person loses their ability to enjoy life after a medical malpractice incident, they can pursue non-economic (also referred to as unliquidated) damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

However, quantifying such a loss is difficult, if not nearly impossible without help from an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Calculable damages awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit encompass lost wages, medical expenses, future lost earnings, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Unlike calculable liquidated damages, unliquidated damages are difficult to measure, like pain and suffering or loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and other relationship benefits. The price tag for diminished life quality is elusive at best, but attorneys and courts consider various factors in arriving at a loss of life enjoyment settlement or award. 

Factors Considered for Loss of Enjoyment of Life Compensation in New Jersey

The severity of the injury, age of the injured individual, activities the party enjoyed pre-injury, family responsibilities, permanent disfigurement, the treatment length, financial losses, pain, suffering, permanent disability, trauma, and lost life quality may give a jury a sense of the diminishment in life enjoyment. Just like pain and suffering have no definite calculable measure, quality of life loss has no formula for financial damages. A jury can award what it thinks is appropriate, but an attorney representing a medical malpractice victim may suggest an amount based on a variety of evidence compiled when building a solid case.

Prove Loss of Enjoyment of Life with Help from our Attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group

The exceptional medical malpractice lawyers at Fronzuto Law Group are committed to assisting you with obtaining maximum compensation for all of the losses you have experienced as a result of negligence by a medical professional or facility, including your loss of enjoyment of life. This is what we do at our firm and we are prepared to formulate the most compelling case showing everything you’ve lost as a result of medical negligence. For a free case evaluation, call us at 973-435-4551 or contact us online to arrange a free case review.

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