Vacations often take a lot of planning and getting involved in an accident or injury can instantly disrupt all those careful plans. Even a relatively minor injury can make any kind of travel a non-starter. Whether it’s a trip out of country, out of state, or even out of town, an injury can permanently cancel all of your upcoming plans to see friends, family, go sight-seeing, or enjoy a little rest and relaxation. It’s bad enough that you have been in an accident and are suffering pain; it’s even worse if that pain prevents you from going out an enjoying life.
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to ask for compensation for all of your damages, both economic and non-economic. Most people understand that they can get compensation for any medical expenses they have related to their injuries, as wells as compensation for out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and even compensation for their pain and suffering. But there are a number of damages that some people overlook, including compensation for missed vacations or other special events. Missing a planned vacation or a special event—such as a wedding, funeral, or birthday—can absolutely be included as part of your damages.
Missed Vacation as Economic Damages in an Injury Case
Just like with other out-of-pocket expenses, you can definitely include a missed vacation as part of your economic damages. If you make travel plans in advance, often those expenses are non-refundable or may include a pricey cancellation or rescheduling fee. As long as you have documentation, such as a receipt, you can include any out-of-pocket travel expenses as part of your economic damages. It doesn’t matter how big or small your expenses may be, you don’t want to leave anything on the table—after all, if the accident wasn’t your fault, why should you have to pay for it? Even if you got a partial refund, you should still include the non-refundable portion in your economic damages. Just be careful that you don’t include any refunded expenses. If you were able to get a full refund, you can’t also get compensation as part of your economic damages.
When considering economic damages, think about all of the following:
- Plane tickets
- Cruise packages, including excursions
- Hotel reservations
- Travel insurance
- Rental vehicles (cars, boats, jet skis, etc.)
- Rental equipment (like ski equipment, kayaks, etc.)
- Entrance/season tickets (theme parks, museums, theaters, zoos, etc.)
- Dinner reservations
- Travel Deposits
- Tour fees
- Spa reservations
Also, it is important to remember that a trip doesn’t have to be a “vacation” to count as an economic damage. Your economic damages can include something as simple as pre-paid movie tickets so long as your accident and injury prevented you from going to the movies and you couldn’t get a refund. You don’t have to leave town, you just need to have an economic loss.
Missed Vacation as Non-Economic Damages in an Injury Case
Missing out on a trip or get-together can be painful even if it doesn’t cost you any money. A trip or outing doesn’t have to be long or costly to be important. Being stuck at home with an injury takes an emotional toll, especially if it means missing out on quality time with loved ones. Missing important events like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays, graduations, or any other special moment can be considered as non-economic damages. Just like with economic damages, it doesn’t have to be an out-of-town trip or annual event to be a significant loss. Missing out on time with friends and family, especially if they are ill or at the end of their life, is just as valid. And even if your vacation costs were fully refunded, or hadn’t yet been made, losing the ability to go on a vacation at all can be a major disappointment. Missing out on life events like these can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, anger, and resentment, all of which can seriously damage your recovery from your injuries, your mental health, and your personal relationships. All of this should be taken into account when you and your attorney calculate your non-economic damages. It can be hard to put a price on missing out on life, but it is important to talk to your attorney about all the ways your accident and injuries have cost you, not just financially, but also emotionally.
If you suffered injuries from an accident and need help seeking damages, call Brandy Austin Law Firm at 817-841-9906.