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Loss of Quality of Life
A claim the injured party can make for having his/her enjoyment of life decreased
Loss of quality of life has the same characteristics as bodily injury claims. Most people can see value on the loss of the ability to lift one’s child or on having to live in a cheaper place, or on having to take medicine all the time.
The question is how much value these activities could improve or decrease in someone’s life. The correct answer is only given by a jury.
Insurance companies will try to settle loss of quality of life claims before they get to court. Personal injury attorneys will probably want to settle before this claim goes to court.
However, claim adjusters and plaintiff attorneys do not see eye to eye regarding this type of claim on several aspects.
The real reason why there is great disagreement over the value of someone’s loss of quality of life is because this type of claim is really a “gamble”. The insurance company will always be taking a big calculated risk when putting their attorneys forward to defend this claim.
Taking these claims to court is a calculated risk because even in the worst case scenarios the insurance policy has a limit. The insurance carrier knows what is the most they would have to pay on this type of claim if they lose.
Defense attorneys know what the policy limits are (you must request this in writing to get an insurance company to disclose the limits), but even in this case, the lawyer does not know how low the claim award will be, making it a risky move.
The value of the claim according to the jury could be less than the legal fee or the experts’ cost. This is why a loss of quality of life claim is always taken to court with other claims (pain and suffering, medical bills, wrongful death, etc.).
Making a successful loss of quality of life claim could be very difficult because the insurance company will thrive in your inability to anticipate settlement, legal costs, legal fees, and experts’ testimonies.
To be successful you must have to prove two things. You must prove that your quality of life is reduced because of the accident and that the cause is directly related to the accident. This sounds easy, but it could be quite complex.
For example, an injured mother can no longer lift her child.
The insurance company’s attorney will make the mother prove that she was able to lift the child before the accident, and that she was indeed “enjoying” this activity.
Questions like this one will be used against your testimony:
How good of a mother and spouse are you Mrs. Injured Mother? Really, we have here your ex-husband to testify about that!
Insurance companies have the right to impeach testimony, and they can do that by deposing and calling to the stand people like your ex. Many jurisdictions are moving away from this type of testimony. However, many still allow it.
You will be surprised to learn what the insurance company’s attorneys will put you through. They will try to drag your reputation through the mud so you have no “quality of life” to show for. It is simply strategy but this is a very common technique.
They will employ this type of technique in loss of consortium claims as well. They will bring to court ex-sexual partners to testify about sexual tendencies and/or “abilities”. You can see how difficult and embarrassing this can be.
The most difficult aspect of the loss of quality of life claims is that the injured or victimized person will be defending themselves in their own trial. The insurance company’s attorneys will prosecute the injured party to win any argument at any cost.
The plaintiff attorney will be spending thousands of dollars to defend the victim’s reputation. However, how much more value this is adding to a loss of quality of life claim is very questionable. It is arguable that there would not be much of an award left after legal fees and costs are taken into account.
If you are considering making this claim, please contact an attorney. Usually, the Loss of Quality of Life claims are common in accidents where there are permanent or severe injuries.
Follow the links below for more information about accident injuries, bodily injury claims, and what to ask when making this type of claim.
4. Permanent Injury Claim
5. Medical bills, medicine, expenses
6. Loss of Wages
7. Loss of Earning Capacity
8. Loss of Business Income
9. Loss of Consortium
10. Loss of Quality of Life
11. Loss of Essential Services
12. Future Treatment and Expenses
13. Pain and Suffering
14. Prior Injuries
15. Psychological Injuries
16. Personal Injury Claim Settlement (evaluation of a claim)
17. Car Accident Injury Claim and Burden of Proof
18. What affects compensation for back and other injury claims
19. A word about Head Injuries
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