How to Quantify Loss of Quality of Life in Catastrophic Injury Cases
Accidents that result in catastrophic injuries can have a wide range of physical, emotional, and financial damages. Injury victims often require long-term or lifelong medical treatment and/or therapy, which puts a financial and emotional strain on them and their families. Considering these hardships, it is easy to see how catastrophic injuries can diminish a person’s quality of life.
What is not so easy is quantifying loss of quality of life in catastrophic injury cases, so that victims can be justly compensated for the full extent of their losses. Personal injury attorney Michael E. Shelton, who serves the Houston, TX, area, works with experts to quantify quality of life losses, and pursue appropriate compensation for his clients.
What Types of Injuries Cause a Loss of Quality of Life?
Any type of injury can have a significant impact on a person’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. However, in a large number of cases, accident victims suffer from injuries that are finite, meaning that they are able to recover from their injuries and resume their normal way of life.
In cases involving catastrophic injuries, the injury victim’s life is permanently altered. These people continue to suffer the consequences of their injury for the rest of their lives, which causes the quality of their life to be lowered. Catastrophic injuries that can cause a loss of quality of life include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of limb
- Paralysis (partial or total)
- Organ damage
- Loss of vision
- Severe burns
- Multiple bone fractures or complex breaks
How Do Injuries Diminish Quality of Life?
Catastrophic injuries cause clear physical and financial damages. Financial damages are easy to quantify. They include medical expenses, the cost of ongoing therapy and/or treatment, lost wages, and/or the loss of wage earning potential. Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries cause many other damages as well, and they are not as easy to quantify.
Catastrophic injuries can diminish a person’s quality of life by preventing them from participating in hobbies or activities that they previously enjoyed, or by altering their relationship with friends or family members. Examples of how a person’s quality of life can be affected by a catastrophic injury are:
- Strained marriage or other personal relationships
- Inability to hold, play with, or otherwise interact with children
- Loss of a fulfilling career
- Living with constant pain or discomfort
- Inability to travel or pursue other interests
- Loss of independence (reliance on others for personal care or assistance)
Putting a Price on Loss of Quality of Life
Although catastrophic injuries can have a large impact on a person’s quality of life, it is hard to put a price tag on this type of loss, because there is no simple way to calculate a person’s comfort and happiness. It is essential that catastrophic injury victims work with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, such as Michael E. Shelton, so that quality of life losses can be accounted for when reaching an injury settlement.
Michael E. Shelton works with experts in the field and relies on expert testimony to quantify quality of life losses so his Houston clients can be justly compensated for the full extent of injury damages. Experts often take into account the injury victim’s age, the extent of their injuries, their work history (and whether they are able to work moving forward), and any changes to the injury victim’s personality when determining how much they should be compensated for loss of quality of life.
Get in Touch
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury that has diminished your quality of life, it is important that liable parties are held accountable for your losses. To find out how much you may be due for damages, we invite you to schedule a consultation with attorney Michael E. Shelton. To get the process started, send us a message online, or call our Houston law firm at (713) 807-0700.