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What is Loss of Consortium?

August 3, 2021

Anytime a person sustains an injury, this can lead to significant personal physical and emotional setbacks. When discussing personal injury claims, most people understand that injury victims are allowed to recover compensation for their direct losses. However, an injured person’s family members may also be able to recover compensation for their own losses. Kentucky allows family members of the injured person to recover “loss of consortium” damages from the at-fault party. Here, we want to discuss loss of consortium and how these claims work.

Defining Loss of Consortium

When a loss of consortium claim is filed as part of a personal injury lawsuit, this is typically a standalone action brought by a spouse or other family member of the person who has been injured or killed as a result of the careless or negligent actions of another.

Loss of consortium damages are designed to provide compensation to family members or a spouse who has also lost something as a result of the injury or death. This will help provide compensation for certain things that the injury or fatality victim can no longer provide, including:

  • Love
  • Affection
  • Companionship
  • Comfort
  • Society
  • Guidance
  • Sexual relations

Because a spouse or family member can no longer receive these things in the same way that they could before the injury or fatality, they also have compensable losses. In general, we will find that loss of consortium damages are not awarded unless a person passes away as a result of the incident or suffers from a severe and permanent injury that affects their abilities.

In general, we will see that loss of consortium damages are brought by spouses of a person injured or killed. However, it may be the case that a child or parent can file a loss of consortium claim if they can prove that the parent or child is no longer able to provide the same type of care, nurture, or affection that they were able to previously.

How to Calculate Loss of Consortium for a Personal Injury Claim

When working to calculate the total amount of compensation for loss of consortium damages, we will find that these are classified as “general” or non-economic damages. This means that they are relatively immeasurable and harder to calculate than other types of personal injury losses. Other types of non-economic damages include pain and suffering losses, loss of quality of life, and emotional distress.

Often, an attorney will use a “multiplier method” when calculating these damages. An attorney will typically add up all of the economic damages pertaining to the injury or death claim (medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, household out-of-pocket losses, etc.) and then multiply the total by a set number, usually ranging from 1.5 to 5. For example, if economic damages reached $100,000, a multiplier of three could be used to reach a non-economic total of $300,000. Loss of consortium damages will be included in that $300,000 total.

Working With an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Case

If you or somebody you care about has been injured as a result of the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, seek legal assistance as possible. If your loved one has been injured or killed, you may have a loss of consortium claim that you can file against the negligent party. A skilled personal injury lawyer in Lexington can walk you through this entire process. An attorney will handle your entire claim, including gathering the evidence needed to prove liability and working to properly calculate total expected losses.