What Are Hedonic Damages—and Should You Include Them in Your Injury Claim?

by Staff | April 25th, 2022

Severe injuries lead to steep medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and significant pain and suffering. Part of the suffering associated with severe injuries is losing the ability to partake in life’s many joys. In the courts, hedonic damages are the name for an individual’s loss of enjoyment of life.

In California, hedonic damages can be recovered in a personal injury claim. If you suffered a severe injury that has taken the enjoyment out of your life, talk with California personal injury lawyers about how to get the compensation you deserve for hedonic damages.

What Injuries Can Cause Hedonic Damages?

Any injury that limits the ability of the injured to enjoy their life is causing hedonic damages. Injuries from car accidents, slip-and-fall injuries, burns from fires caused by defective products, and much more can all result in hedonic damages.

Hedonic damages in car accidents

Car accidents can lead to extremely severe injuries. Disabling physical injuries and brain injuries specifically can be a source of hedonic damage. Brain injuries can affect the injured person’s ability to move, eat, think, and feel certain emotions.

Disabling injuries like paralysis or injuries resulting in amputation limits people’s movement, which is vital for the enjoyment of life.

Hedonic damages in slips and falls

Brain injuries are common in slips and falls when the victim incurs trauma to the head on impact. Spinal cord injuries are also possible, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. These slip-and-fall injuries significantly limit the victim’s ability to enjoy their life like they once did.

Hedonic damages from burns

Severe burns can cause significant weakness in the burned region, movement-limiting muscle stiffness, and constant sleeping disruptions. The movement restrictions qualify some burn victims for disability compensation. They can also make it impossible for victims to participate in the joys of life due to embarrassment or low self-esteem, especially if the burns are on the face or other uncovered body parts. 

Chronic sleep issues result in anxiety, depression, and other enjoyment-reducing mood disorders. When a victim’s burns result from a fire caused by a defective product, they may be able to win compensation for their hedonic damages.

Hedonic Damages and Filing Your Claim

Getting compensation for hedonic damages is not a simple process because there is no obvious dollar amount associated with losing the enjoyment of life. Hedonic damages are also referred to as non-economic damages, meaning they have no direct financial impact on the victim, making them more challenging to prove.

In California, it is primarily up to the common sense of the jury to decide what amount of compensation is fair in hedonic damage cases.

Hedonic damages are in the same category as pain and suffering and other emotional damages. They are all equally difficult to prove because they are non-quantifiable.

Younger victims usually have a better chance of receiving hedonic damage compensation because their injuries bar them from doing what they enjoy for longer periods. 

How to Prove Hedonic Damages

Since hedonic damages have no monetary value, they require you to gather evidence to support your claim in other ways. A personal injury attorney can help you prove your loss of enjoyment of life to better your chance of winning compensation.

If you have recently been a victim of injury-causing hedonic damage, take detailed notes of all the activities you can no longer do. Also, keep a detailed schedule of events you would have attended if not for the injury. These are two kinds of evidence that may help support your case.

Talk with Your Attorney About Hedonic Damages

Hedonic damages are worth including in your personal injury claim as a part of your pain and suffering damages. The complicated nature of hedonic damages means you need an experienced personal injury lawyer with a track record of successfully winning both economic and non-economic damages in your type of injury claim.

The personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have over 40 years of experience and the resources to explore every possibility in your case. Contact us today for a free consultation and more information on recovering financial, emotional, and physical damages for your injury.