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Hedonic Damages

Hedonic Damages

In the context of personal injury law, “hedonic damages” are damages to compensate a plaintiff for “loss of enjoyment of life,” i.e., a diminished ability to enjoy the day-to-day pleasures of life.

For example, a truck crashes into a pedestrian. After the accident, both of the pedestrian’s legs are totally and permanently paralyzed. The pedestrian files a personal injury action against the driver of the truck. In the action, the pedestrian seeks damages for his past and future medical expenses, his lost wages, his loss of earning capacity, and his mental pain and suffering. In addition, the pedestrian seeks hedonic damages for his loss of enjoyment of life. In order to prove his claim for hedonic damages, the pedestrian will have to show that the accident, and the resulting paralysis of his legs, diminished his enjoyment of life.

Hedonic damages are controversial because they require a jury to put a monetary value on the quality of a person’s life. A jury must answer the question, “How much was the plaintiff’s quality of life worth before the accident, and how much is it worth now?”

Some states do not permit a plaintiff to seek hedonic damages as a separate damage claim. In those states, hedonic damages are generally considered to be a part of the plaintiff’s recovery for mental pain and suffering. Most states will not admit expert testimony to prove hedonic damages.

Copyright 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

Settlements & Awards
  • Mattoon.

    52-year-old worker. 9th grade education. Left hand tendon laceration. Permanent restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $436.64 per week for life.

  • Champaign.

    54-year-old CNA. Bilateral shoulder surgeries. Permanent restrictions. Two vocational experts failed to locate suitable light duty work. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $441.93 per week for life.

  • Springfield.

    66-year-old maintenance worker. Failed two level lumbar fusion. Permanent restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $538.36 per week for life.

  • Quincy.

    56-year-old municipal worker. Lumbar and S1 radiculopathy. Permanent work restrictions. No surgery. Failed job search. Awarded $466.13 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout $581,730.00

  • Quincy.

    52-year-old CNA. Lumbar fusion. Permanent restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $420.33 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout $671,571.96.

  • Springfield, IL.

    63-year-old truck driver. Four shoulder surgeries. Permanent work restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $802.61 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout $780,467.00

  • Quincy, IL.

    56-year-old street worker. Disc injury. No surgery. Permanent work restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $466.13 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout of award is $586,577.99

  • Quincy, IL.

    52-year-old LPN. Lumbar fusion. Permanent work restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $420.33 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout of award is $677,571.00

  • Springfield, IL.

    56-year-old union pipe-fitter. Injured forearm/surgery. Permanent restrictions. Job change. Wage loss. Awarded wage differential of $550 a week for life. Total lifetime expected payout is $833,804

  • Springfield, IL.

    54-year-old union laborer. Spinal injuries and head trauma. Unable to return to work. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $642.50 per week for life. Total lifetime expected lifetime payout of $998,400

  • Video Vault


    What happens if my workers compensation claim is denied?

    Lawyers at Boshardy law office, located in Springfield, IL answer your questions about what happens if your workers compensation claim is denied. If you need legal help with a work injury or workers comp case, contact the law firm at 800-595-5345. We offer a free consultation.
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    In 2000 I worked at a power plant and got a torn rotator cuff injury.... Long story short I was off for over a year, had surgery, rehab etc. John took my case and he won us close to six figures. Now in 2006 I was laboring and got injured on the job f...

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    John Boshardy represented me for my workers compensation case in 2011, and I found him to be an excellent Attorney. John always returned my calls, and made time for every question I had during the process. John explained everything clearly so that I ...

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