When a person dies or is seriously injured due to the negligence of others, it is a shocking and life-changing situation for the victim and their families. The experience itself is terrible enough, but to make matters worse, a serious injury or wrongful death often means big financial losses for the family. That is why our legal system created laws outlining the types of losses and expenses (called damages) that must be paid to the victims by the person or organization that is at fault in order to make things right. A lesser-known category of damages is called consortium damages.
What Are Consortium Damages?
Imagine a person you love and depend on is suddenly taken away by a serious injury or death. Consortium damages helps the spouse or other family member get financial restitution for this giant hole that has been created in their lives.
Compensatory Damages: Two Types of Loss
Compensatory damages are what the victims and their families are “owed” for the various types of losses and expenses they now have due to the negligence of the person or organization. There are two main types of compensatory damages, and consortium damages are a little of both.
Economic damages are the hard costs of the injury or death. In a serious injury, they would include medical expenses, such as hospital bills, prescriptions, wheelchairs, and the various other costs most people never even considered. A good law firm will hire an expert to create a lifecare plan, which factors in all the victim’s current and future needs and what they’ll cost. A wrongful death would have some of the same expenses of a catastrophic injury and some different expenses, such as funeral expenses. There are also economic damages for all the lost income that the person will not earn because of the injury or death. There could be other economic damages as well.
Non-economic damages cover things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These might be a little harder to put a price tag upon, but they are just as important for the family to move forward and feel that justice has been served.
Consortium Damages: The 3 Keys
The relationships we have in our lives, such as the relationships between spouses, are priceless. The laws regarding the loss of consortium help a law firm to find a financial way to compensate the spouse or family member who has lost a loved one they depended on. The National Law Review does an excellent job of describing the losses that spouses and other family members can recover as a loss of consortium.
- Loss of services. This includes the reasonable value of chores and anything else the victim did around the house.
- Loss of support. This includes all support that the victim would have provided had they not been injured or killed. This includes companionship, affection, comfort, and society.
- Loss of quality in a relationship. This includes a loss of sexual relations, affection, and emotional support provided to a spouse or partner.
Consortium damages, like any compensatory damages, are rarely offered generously and fairly by the party at fault. Our attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping people like you and your loved ones. Our clients include the family members of victims of catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, especially in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect and medical malpractice. We have the knowledge, resources, and passion to fight for fair compensation in your case. For answers in a compassionate (and free) consultation, please call (410) 698-1717.