After being involved in an accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to recover compensation for your pain and suffering. While the compensation for your pain is straightforward, what your “suffering” entails is often vague.
In Philadelphia, compensation for your suffering aims to overcome the loss the enjoyment of life since your accident. While these losses will never adequately be compensated with money, personal injury law is unable to turn back time to before the incident that changed your life. Therefore, recovering the full amount of financial reimbursement you are entitled to after an accident is essential to bounce back. The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian in Philadelphia can help.
Your Non-Economic Damages After an Injury
When someone else acts poorly and you get hurt as a result, the injuries that you sustain in the incident are likely to span the physical, emotional, and financial spectrum. Some of these injuries and losses are easy to state in a dollar amount – your property damage is reflected in the costs of repairing or replacing what was damaged or broken, while your medical expenses are shown on your hospital and other healthcare bills. Because of the relative ease with which it is to express these losses monetarily, the amount that you deserve to recover in compensation for these damages is referred to as your economic damages.
Some of your injuries, though, are more difficult to put into a dollar amount. Your emotional distress, for example, is something that only you can feel, and cannot ever be perfectly communicated to a jury. These are your non-economic damages, and just because they are tricky to state financially does not mean that you did not suffer them and are not entitled to compensation for them.
Compensation for the Loss of Your Life's Enjoyments
One of the non-economic damages that Philadelphia recognizes in personal injury lawsuits is for the loss of your life's enjoyments. This form of compensation aims to cover the mental and emotional anguish that you have gone through since the accident but that might fall outside the realm of actual pain that you have suffered. Not all of the repercussions of the accident are going to be a negative on your life – the inability to enjoy the positives that you most looked forward to are no less intense and disappointing, and you should be compensated for these, as well.
This loss is especially intense when the injuries that you suffered at the hands of someone else were severe and disabling. In the worst cases, these injuries can lead to permanent debilitations that keep you from doing what you most enjoyed doing in the future. Not only can these injuries prevent you from doing the activities that you looked forward to, they can also keep you from doing the basic and daily tasks that you took for granted. The emotional weight of not being able to eat, get dressed, or tie your shoes without help can be intense, especially for someone who is used to living independently.
Proving a Claim for Compensation
Unfortunately, putting a dollar amount on the loss of your life's enjoyments is very difficult. Juries have no way of fully understanding what you have been through. Even if they were, they would still face the difficult task of putting a dollar amount on what you deserve to recover in compensation for the loss of your life's enjoyments.
For example, imagine two car accident victims who are paralyzed from the waist down. One was a movie buff who can still pursue their hobby, while the other was an amateur golfer who can no longer enjoy their passion. Juries faced with the idea of rewarding one with more compensation than the other can hesitate, considering they suffered the same injury.
This is where the advocacy skills of a personal injury attorney can make a huge difference in your case. With the experience of having represented numerous accident victims in the past, the personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help you show the jury the true extent of your losses and recover the compensation that you deserve.
Compensation for Pain, Suffering, and Loss of Life's Enjoyments
The distinctions between an accident victim's losses and damages for their physical pain, their suffering, and their loss of their ability to enjoy life are nuanced, tricky, and an ongoing issue in personal injury law in the state of Pennsylvania. While physical pain has established itself as a clear category of loss that you are likely to have suffered in an accident, the difference between “suffering” and “loss of enjoyment of life,” on the other hand, is much more subtle.
While other states have decided that “suffering” is distinct from the “loss of life's enjoyments,” Pennsylvania is not one of them. Instead, ever since the 1978 case of Willinger v. Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Pennsylvania has stuck to the rule that compensation for the loss of life's enjoyments is subsumed within the compensation for “suffering.”
Of course, that is not to say that the loss of enjoyment in your life is not something that you can recover compensation for; it just means that the discussion is something that a skilled personal injury lawyer will bring up during the conversation about the “suffering” you have undergone from the accident that the other person caused.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian
If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident in or near the city of Philadelphia, you need legal representation to ensure that you recover the compensation you are entitled to receive. Pursuing this right can make a huge difference on your financial well-being after the accident and can ensure you make a full recovery from the injuries and losses you did not deserve. Contact us online for legal help.