In personal injury law, “loss of consortium” is a term that carries a significant impact. It refers to the deprivation of familial benefits due to injuries caused by another’s negligence.
Understanding this term and its implications is crucial for anyone involved in a personal injury claim. It plays a significant role in determining the compensation received for injuries sustained. This plainly underscores the importance of having an experienced New York personal injury attorney who understands these nuances and can effectively argue for the rightful inclusion of such claims in any settlement or judgment.
Definition of Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium, in the context of personal injury law, refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries caused by a negligent party. In New York State, loss of consortium is a non-economic damage, meaning it does not have a set monetary value but is subjective and depends on the specifics of each case.
The term “consortium” encompasses several elements, including love, companionship, affection, sexual relations, assistance in daily tasks, and moral support. A loss of consortium claim may be made when a person is injured severely enough to hinder their ability to provide these things to their spouse or family.
What are the Damages for Loss of Consortium?
Damages awarded for loss of consortium can vary widely. They are meant to compensate for the negative impact on the relationship between the injured person and their spouse or family. It’s important to note that these awards are separate from direct damages like medical bills or lost wages awarded to the injured person. Instead, loss of consortium damages are awarded to the non-injured spouse or family member who has suffered due to the change in the relationship.
Examples of Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium, defined as the deprivation of familial benefits due to injuries caused by another’s negligence, can manifest in numerous ways. Here are five examples:
- Paralysis from a Motorcycle Accident: A husband gets into a motorcycle accident that leaves him paralyzed. As a result, his wife can no longer enjoy the companionship, support, and intimate relations they once had, leading to a loss of consortium claim.
- Medical Malpractice: A wife undergoes a surgical procedure, but due to medical malpractice, she suffers severe complications that drastically alter her physical and mental capabilities. Her husband can file a loss of consortium claim due to the sudden change in their marital relationship.
- Automobile Crashes: A father is severely injured in a car crash and becomes incapable of providing the same level of affection and companionship to his children. This scenario can give rise to a loss of consortium claim.
- Slip-and-Fall Accidents: An elderly woman slips and falls at a grocery store, resulting in significant injuries that limit her ability to interact with and care for her spouse. Her husband could file a loss of consortium claim for the loss of companionship and assistance.
- Defective Products: A man suffers severe injuries due to a defective product, altering his relationship with his partner. The partner can claim loss of consortium due to the drastic changes in their domestic partnership.
Factors Considered in Loss of Consortium Claims
When determining the value of a loss of consortium claim, there are several factors which are considered, such as:
- The duration and severity of the injury
- Its impact on the relationship
Other relevant factors may include:
- The age of the injured party
- The health of the injured party before the incident occurred
Evidence Needed for Loss of Consortium Claims
To substantiate a loss of consortium claim, specific evidence will be necessary. The evidence can range from testimony from family members to medical experts. An experienced personal injury attorney can prove instrumental in gathering and presenting this evidence to strengthen your claim.
Role of Loss of Consortium in Personal Injury Settlements and Judgments
Loss of consortium plays a crucial role in personal injury settlements and judgments. It can significantly impact the overall value of the claim. The determination of settlements and judgments takes into consideration several elements, including loss of consortium.
Speak with a Skilled NYC Injury Attorney Today
Understanding the loss of consortium is vital for anyone involved in a personal injury case. It can significantly influence the amount of compensation received. To ensure you receive fair compensation for loss of consortium, seeking legal representation is crucial.
You can know your rights are protected when you put your trust in Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP. Our award-winning New York attorneys, recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, Best Lawyers directory, and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, have secured hundreds of millions for our clients. Trust 50+ years of proven experience.
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