Auto accidents, slip and fall incidents, surgical and medical mistakes and workplace accidents can cause injuries and deaths that can forever alter the lives of victims and their family members. When, for example, a spouse is injured in a car accident, that spouse may no longer be able to return to work and provide financial support for the family. As has been mentioned in previous posts here, those costs can be recovered through a civil lawsuit. However, spouses provide more than monetary support-what about the love, support and encouragement that will now be missing because of their injuries? This “loss of companionship” may also be included as part of a claim.
When a car accident affects a victim’s ability to show affection, companionship, parenting or care, it is known as loss of companionship or loss of consortium. Unlike other forms of damages, a close family member, such as a parent, spouse or a child, must claim loss of consortium damages. A car accident should have been the cause for the victim’s injuries or untimely death.
A non-economic damage, it is difficult to calculate loss of companionship. For example, with regards to a couple, courts can look at whether the couple was in a stable and loving relationship, their living arrangements, individual life expectancy and the amount of care and companionship spouses received. There are other factors that might be considered, depending on the claimant’s relationship with the victim. Learning more about wrongful death legal options can be beneficial for surviving family members.