PERSONAL INJURY – LOSS OF CONSORTIUM
Loss of Consortium – Consists of several elements, encompassing not only material services, but such intangibles as society, guidance, companionship and sexual relations. Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition.Damages in a personal injury case are usually clear cut. It is easy to see on paper how much a person has spent on medical bills or the amount of wages they have lost not being able to work while recovering from their injuries. However, a “loss of consortium” claim is a little more difficult. You might be the one physically injured in an accident, but your spouse is injured in other ways. The jury needs to see that your spouse suffered with you during your recovery. (In the case of a wrongful death, a jury needs to see how you suffer without your spouse.) Loss of consortium damages usually fall into one of the following three categories (wrongful death situations could include all three): Loss of Services – Loss of Support – Loss of Marital Relationship. Loss of Services: This pertains to a reasonable value of things that your spouse did around the house. If your spouse has been severely injured (or dies) as a result of the accident, you would more than likely have to do your partners “chores” (i.e., mowing the lawn, do the dishes, vacuum, etc.) or maybe even have to pay someone to do these services. An award for loss of services is intended to repay the injured’s spouse for the extra burden placed upon them. Loss of Support: This is regarding the amount of financial support the injured person would have contributed to the spouse or family if they had not been injured. A jury usually is given the evidence of how much the injured party would have made (lost wages). In this situation they are also given an amount that the injured party usually contributed toward supporting the spouse. Loss of Marital Relationship: This refers to parts of a marriage that don’t have monetary value, but are valuable assets to the individuals. Married couples value their love, affection, companionship and even sexual intercourse but one cannot put a price sticker on it. If an injured spouse cannot participate due to their injuries, a jury should be able to take into consideration the damages for this loss. This can be difficult to put a monetary amount on it, but it should be included in an award. We at RONKIMLAW have been dealing with and proving this element of damages, Loss Of Consortium when applicable for many years. Damages in a personal injury case are usually cl
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.