If your spouse gets injured or killed, you can seek compensation for the loss of companionship and the loss of services caused by the injury or death. These money damages are in addition to the losses your spouse can seek to recover, like your spouse’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A New Jersey personal injury attorney can work hard to hold the at-fault party accountable for all the losses that you and your spouse suffered. Your lawyer can also answer your questions, such as, what is loss of consortium?
What Does a Loss of Services Mean?
In a relationship, each party contributes something for the benefit of the couple. One person might bring home a paycheck while the other raises the children, cooks, cleans, and maintains the household. If a wage earner loses the ability to be gainfully employed because of injury or death that was someone else’s fault, the victim or survivors might have a claim for compensation for the lost income.
The concept of a loss of services recognizes that every person’s work has monetary value, even if they do not get a paycheck for their labors. A spouse who maintains a household, raises the children, and performs other tasks for the benefit of the family contributes a great deal. One way to measure this loss is to show how much it would cost to hire people to do all the work of that spouse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What Can a Loss of Companionship Involve?
A loss of companionship is a highly individual type of money damages that sets out how the injury or loss of life affected the relationship. Here are a few examples:
- No longer being able to go hiking with a spouse who lost the use of her legs after a car accident.
- A spouse who can no longer perform sexually because of a severe injury to the spine or pelvis.
- Not being able to do activities with, receive affection from, or get guidance or advice from a spouse who is in a persistent vegetative state from a traumatic brain injury.
- Losing all of these things when a spouse dies because of someone else’s careless or intentional act.
A loss of companionship claim seeks to measure these items in dollars. Of course, money cannot replace being able to do these things with one’s spouse, but the compensation honors the loss.
How Much Money Can I Get to Settle My Loss of Consortium Claim?
There is no flat-rate amount of compensation for a loss of consortium claim. Every case is different. The amount of money damages that you can seek will depend on the unique facts of your situation. Some of the factors that can go into the calculation of a loss of consortium case include:
- The severity of the injuries
- The extent of the loss of services or companionship
- The permanence of the loss of services or companionship
- The conduct of the defendant, particularly in cases that involve intentional harm, callous disregard for the risk of harm to others, and fraud
A New Jersey personal injury attorney can evaluate your circumstances and determine whether you might qualify for a loss of consortium claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.