Loss of consortium is one of the non-economic damages, an accident victim can claim through a personal injury lawsuit. It can also be claimed by the surviving family member through a wrongful death case, when the victim has died. In a personal injury case when the victim is a spouse, he or she can claim loss of consortium, when the injuries have left him or her unable to perform recreational or romantic activities.
Critical Components Considered
During the personal injury trial, the plaintiff’s attorney will present before the jury the various types of losses suffered by his client, due to the defendant’s negligence and resultant accident. For calculating the extent of loss of consortium the jury will consider up to what extent the person is unable to perform sexual and other activities that express affection, love, and companionship. The jury will also consider the closeness of the relationship between the two spouses, and the type of relationship they were having before the accident occurred.
Generally, non-economic damages are hard to calculate, as it is not easy to put a dollar figure on suffering and pain. Loss of consortium damages is even more difficult to calculate because it involves emotional factors and psychological injuries. The jury will have to consider the impact the injuries are having on the victim’s relationship with his or her spouse.
Importance is given to inability in maintaining sexual relationship, and providing companionship. In certain states, the court will also consider, the impact the injuries have on parent-child relationship, if the victim happens to be a parent or a child.
A separate case to claim loss of consortium damages can also be filed by the wife or husband of the injured victim. This will be a different lawsuit from the personal injury case that the victim has filed.