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Personal injury damages can be attributed to different losses a person typically suffers as a result of suffering from a bodily injury. Economic damages compensate the injured victim for monetary losses related to their injury, such as medical and hospital bills for treatment of an injury.
However, there are some losses you can’t put a price tag on. Noneconomic damages compensate the injured party for intangible losses that aren’t readily quantified in financial terms, such as disability, paralysis, and physical pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages also compensate for a particular type of loss called “loss of consortium.” This blog explains the nature and basis for loss of consortium damages.
What Does Loss of Consortium Compensate?
Loss of consortium damages compensates close family members of an injured person for lost affection or companionship resulting from the injured their loved one sustained. These damages are commonly available in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases where the victim was either killed or rendered so disabled as to severely diminish their capacity to provide affection and companionship for their family.
Loss of consortium damages are restricted to spousal relationships and child-parent relationships. The injured party’s siblings, grandparents or grandchildren, stepparents or stepchildren, or friends are not entitled to receive loss of consortium damages.
A party seeking to recover damages for loss of consortium based on an injury to their spouse or its effect on the child-parent relationship must establish that the other party to the relationship suffered a severe physical injury or died as a result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct.
Furthermore, loss of consortium damages are unique because the person who was directly affected by the defendant’s wrongful conduct is not entitled to those damages. Instead, the victim’s family has a derivative right to receive compensation for losses resulting from their injury.
Spousal Loss of Consortium
Texas law recognizes a person’s right to enjoy their spouse’s affection, comfort, companionship, and sexual relations. As a result, the non-injured spouse must demonstrate that their loved one’s injury interfered with the emotional and intangible benefits the couple enjoyed from their relationship.
Child-Parent Loss of Consortium
A parent may claim amounts for losing the affection and companionship of their young child. Loss of consortium for the parent’s loss of a child depends on a variety of factors such as the child’s age and emotional awareness. At the other end, a child may also suffer loss of consortium from a parent.
Factors a court may consider to determine a child’s entitlement to economic damages include:
- The severity of the parent’s injury
- The actual effect of the injury on the parent-child relationship
- The child’s age and emotional sophistication
- The availability of other consortium-giving relationships to the child
Again, loss of consortium falls under the category for noneconomic damages. Therefore, evidence relevant to the injured parent’s earning capacity will not be considered when evaluating the basis and extent of an award for loss of consortium.
Contact an Experienced Products Liability Attorney in Bryan
Has one of your close family members died or suffered a severely disabling injury? If so, you should seek the legal advice of an experienced Bryan wrongful death attorney regarding your available options for receiving a legal remedy to which you are entitled. At Waltman & Grisham Attorneys at Law, we have over 30 years of experience recovering damages for personal injuries, including loss of consortium in wrongful death cases. You can count on us to relentlessly advocate for your right to hold those responsible for wrongfully causing the death of your loved one.
Contact Waltman & Grisham Attorneys at Law online or call (979) 227-4888 today to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our skilled products liability attorneys.