I always break damages down into two categories objective and subjective damages.
Objective damages include:
- damage to vehicles or personal property in the vehicle such as lost eyeglasses, damaged personal property
- loss of earnings (that includes not only loss of past and present earnings, but also loss of benefits. If the injury reduces the capacity of the person’s earnings because the injury is significant, there would also be a claim for loss of future earnings)
- medical expenses.
Subjective damages include:
- pain and suffering (past, present, and if it’s continuing, future pain and suffering. It is the future pain and suffering that requires a doctor’s testimony as to the existence of continuing future pain and how long it’s expected to last including to the point of being permanent)
- embarrassment because of visible injuries/scarring
- loss of quality of life
Pain and Suffering Damages
The damages may include embarrassment caused by scarring or loss of part of the body, for example, a finger, nose, or ear. It also includes loss of enjoyment in quality of life.
In addition, there are claims for loss of society and companionship. That is the inability to in the past, present, and potentially in the future do things with a family member or spouse. That’s not limited only to marital relationships, and to sexual or intimate relations, but it extends to the fun things people do together.
As an example, inability to go on vacations or hike, snowmobile etc. that the claimant and family/friends used to do, all result in a significant loss of enjoyment and quality of life.
Is “loss of society” measured by the loss of enjoyment by the other family member, or is it still personal to the claimant?
“Loss of society” refers to personal injury damages that result from the loss of companionship between loved ones when one of the two of them is disabled or disfigured in some way.
It is both. For the injured party it is the loss of the ability to engage in the relationship and what it adds to their quality of life, and also for the family member who lost the ability to do things with their injured spouse/family member.