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Making sense of hedonic damages

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2017 | Catastrophic Injuries

When it comes to the term “hedonic damages,” it refers to economic compensation the victim of an accident can lay claim to for the loss of pleasure associated with remaining alive. When it comes to waging a claim for compensation for this type of damage, victims are required to provide proof of their affliction, evidence that is later evaluated using an objective standard.

Contrary to what most people might think, decisions are rarely rendered regarding hedonic damages in the courtroom. Instead, judges preside primarily over cases in which a claim is made for either compensatory or punitive damages.

Compensatory damages include expenses such as medical bills, loss of earnings, and other costs that are the result of one’s injuries. They are perhaps the easiest to prove using the objective standard. In contrast, punitive damages, a financial type of punishment used to deter the defendant and others from similar actions in the future, can most easily be measured by evaluating similar types of cases.

Hedonic damages contrast from the compensatory and punitive types in that the hedonic variety measures things like pain and suffering or emotional trauma. As opposed to being more objectively proven, hedonic damages tend to be more subjective in the sense that they are specific to an individual and their particular response to stimuli.

Among the instances in which an individual may lose their desire to do what they used to like to do, there are many examples. One of them involves an individual having suffered from food poisoning at a restaurant, due to having consumed uncooked or spoiled food.

Although eventually that person may have recovered from the physical injuries associated with the food poisoning, their associated emotional trauma may remain. It might have extinguished their enjoyment of eating out like they used to because of the memory and fear of getting sick again.

If you or someone you know suffers from what might be deemed to be hedonic damages as a result of having been injured in an accident stemming from the negligence of another, an Ohio personal injury attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.

Source: FindLaw, “What Are Hedonic Damages?,” Deanne Katz, accessed March 03, 2017