The thought of a personal injury brings up visions of twisted motor vehicles, head injuries, broken bones, time lost on the job, and long periods of rehabilitation.
These consequences can usually be valued at the cost of repair, medical and prescription expenses, lost wage calculations and hours spent in physical therapy.
However, there are emotional costs to every personal injury that do not come with a clear price tag. While people may consider those losses to fall under “pain and suffering,” there are more specific ways to categorize those damages.
One of the frequently overlooked aspects of emotional and mental harm is the loss of consortium that follows a serious injury.
What is a loss of consortium claim in New York?
This type of loss is endured by family members and loved ones of the accident victim.
Loss of consortium can also be known as loss of companionship or loss of affection, and it is sustained when a personal injury victim is seriously harmed, such as in cases where the injured suffered brain damage or is in a coma, or killed.
If the result of the injury is that the victim is no longer able to provide the same care, attention, household services, support, parenting or sexual relationship as provided before the injury, the affected party may have a loss of consortium claim. Loss of consortium can apply to spouses, long-term romantic partners, and parents and children.
It can be difficult to assign monetary value to non-economic damages such as loss of consortium, because the loss of affection is incalculable. Determining the loss of financial support is the most straightforward, as judges and juries can decide on an amount based on how much the spouse earned and how they contributed to the household and family expenses.
Sometimes judges rule on settlements that define the value of loss of consortium as a percentage of the injured spouse’s total damages. The emotional losses are more difficult to monetize, but your Bronx personal injury attorney can find an amount that will work for your case.
How to prove loss of consortium in a personal injury claim
When making decisions on loss of consortium, courts look at the length of the relationship and the relationship status: married, separated, divorced, domestic partnership. The length and closeness of the relationship are also considered, as well as the injured person’s life expectancy.
You will need to provide documentation of the relationship and the length of the relationship, such as producing a birth certificate or a marriage certificate.
Medical records may need to be presented to show the extent of the physical fallout of the injury, as it may limit mobility, physical ability, or the ability to have children, if that is a factor in the claim. Additional information could include documentation of your loved one’s changes in personality after the injury, including irritability, aggression, confusion, and depression.
Statements from experts and physicians also play a key role. Lastly, there is no loss of consortium award without a valid personal injury claim, so you need to retain experienced, professional legal counsel to represent you and your spouse in your lawsuit.
Get justice for all those affected by a personal injury
Personal injuries can claim many victims. The Law Office of Evan W. Kohn has represented clients throughout the Bronx, NYC, surrounding counties and Long Island who have suffered financial and emotional losses through no fault of their own.
Call us at 718-409-5500 or contact us online to schedule your risk-free initial consultation.