LOSS OF PLEASURE DAMAGES ARIZONA – ALSO KNOWN AS HEDONIC DAMAGES

 

In a recent Badger Blog post we talked about “pain and suffering” damages in personal injury cases – what about Loss of Pleasure Damages or Hedonic Damages? A real, but not-so-easy-to-value, type of damage available to personal injury victims is the “[l]oss of enjoyment of life, that is, participation in life’s activities to the quality and extent normally enjoyed before the injury.” Revised Arizona Jury Instructions (Civil), 6th Edition, Personal injury Damages 1, Measure of Damages. This type of loss is frequently referred to as “hedonic” damage.

There is no “formula” or set number of dollars that can be applied to hedonic damages. The value of these damages will necessarily be subjective and will depend on the particular victim’s enjoyments in life. Some activities that may give rise to these types of damages include, but are not limited to playing sports, working out, hiking, biking, playing an instrument, traveling and spending time with family.

WHAT DO I DO IF I CANNOT PURSUE THE THINGS I ENJOY

The types of injuries that may warrant hedonic damages are usually those that cause a permanent disability which precludes the victim from participating in activities they enjoyed before the injury. You need to contact a law firm / lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of subjective damages.

If you are injured, we recommend that you create a daily log of the things you are unable to do. This gives your lawyer a contemporaneous accounting of the things you love doing that you cannot do at that point.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF LOSS OF PLEASURE DAMAGES

In Arizona, hedonic damages are recoverable by victims of negligence in addition to pain and suffering damages. While there might at first glance seem to be some overlap with pain and suffering damages, hedonic damages are really unique. It’s not bad enough that your back was injured in the accident, but now you can’t do many of the things you enjoyed doing before the accident. Maybe you were an avid golfer or gardener. Maybe you regularly played basketball or worked out at the gym or went on long walks or hikes. Maybe you can’t play with your grandchildren like you used to. The loss of ability to enjoy these activities is a real loss to you, even if it is not so clear how to measure it.

Whether negotiating with an insurance company, or trying to persuade a judge or jury at trial, you should at least address the following considerations:

  • The frequency with which you engaged in the activity;
  • The pleasure derived from the activity. For example, playing with
  • your children/grandchildren may be especially meaningful;
  • The extent to which your ability to engage in the activity has been
  • impaired as a result of your injuries.

Be sure your lawyer does not overlook these types of damages when evaluating your case.

If you have any questions about this post, or if you’ve been injured in an accident and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us at 1.833.383.4448. We offer free consultations and are here to help.