When you have suffered an injury that led you to file a personal injury claim, you and your attorney are faced with the challenge of calculating your financial losses and the monetary equivalents of your physical and mental suffering. Determining all of your damages and how much each of these elements are worth is crucial to seeking an appropriate sum from an insurer or at-fault party. Some of these damages are more obvious than others, such as medical expenses and lost wages. These are relatively easy to add up while damages for pain and suffering or loss of normal life can create a challenge.
To learn more about disability or loss of normal life compensation during a personal injury claim, speak with the Chicago personal injury lawyers of Staver Law Group as soon as possible. Call today at .
What Does Loss of Normal Life Mean?
In 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court decided that loss of normal life is a separate type of compensable damage in a personal injury claim. This means that you can ask to receive compensation for your loss of normal life separately from other damages, like your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Illinois courts have determined through previous cases that loss of normal life is the temporary or permanent reduced ability to enjoy life, including your capability to pursue pleasurable aspects of life. More broadly, this is defined as a detrimental change in your lifestyle. When seeking damages in your personal injury claim, loss of normal life is a term that can be used in exchange for disability, which is usually defined as not being fully able to perform all physical and/or mental functions.
You and your attorney must determine whether you use the term loss of normal life or disability. You cannot use both. Since disability is defined and viewed slightly differently than loss of life, the term you and your attorney choose will be based on your specific circumstances. Arguing for compensation for loss of life may be better suited to your case if you do not appear disabled to the average person. Many jurors will have limited experience with disability. They may only believe you are disabled if they can see the effect of the accident, such as if you suffered an amputation or are now in a wheelchair. Non-visible disabilities can lead jurors to decline damages for disability or agree to a lower sum than you deserve. However, loss of normal life rests less on obvious impairments in many juror’s minds and may provide more leeway in proving damages.
To be clear, neither of these terms is the same as disfigurement, which is an impairment of or injury to a person’s appearance, symmetry, or beauty that makes a person unsightly, imperfect, or deformed in some way. Disfigurement is a separate type of compensable damages from disability or loss of life, which means you may be able to seek recovery for this as well.
Examples of Loss of Normal Life
The different definitions confuse the issue, but the loss of normal life and disability are interchangeable under the law. This means any type of medical disability that has been confirmed by your physician can be used as proof of loss of normal life. Any physical or psychological change that negatively impacts your life can be used as proof of loss of normal life as well, including issues with:
- Mobility and endurance
- The senses: Vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch
- Short- or Long-term Memory
Proving Loss of Normal Life
While seeking compensation for loss of normal life can benefit you and increase your monetary recovery after an accident, it also means that you must provide evidence of your loss of normal life. You and your attorney will have to offer proof to the judge and jury that you have lost the ability to move forward with and enjoy your normal life, such as your chosen career, hobbies, and normal activities like bathing and cooking independently.
Ways to prove loss of normal life include:
- Your personal testimony
- A day in the life video, which is a video of how you manage your daily activities in spite of your injuries
- Medical expert testimony
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Calculating damages in order to seek an appropriate amount of compensation through a personal injury claim can be incredibly difficult. To learn more about seeking compensation for loss of normal life or disability, speak with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney from Staver Law Group right away.
Call us today at to schedule your free initial consultation.