When a person is a victim of a car accident and suffers a serious injury, they are entitled to receive compensation for damages. Primary damages include medical expenses and the loss of income caused by the injury. However, there are secondary damages the person may be entitled to based on their situation. One of these categories is the loss of companionship.
Loss of companionship may also be called loss of consortium, loss of marital compatibility or other names. In essence, it means the person has lost the physical presence of a spouse or child. That person may have been killed or injured in an accident. They may no longer be present with the person or they may be unable to enjoy normal marital relations or even be unable to have children.
While it may be fairly easy to define, loss of consortium is not as easily valued. In reality, the loss of someone you love cannot be translated into a dollar amount. However, that is what must happen in a claim against the responsible party.
Some states have limits on how much a person can receive under this category of damages. It may vary based on whether the victim is an adult or child, such as in Wisconsin. Other states impose one limit regardless of age.
A jury will consider the quality of the relationship when determining value. For instance, a couple who has been married for 20 years may receive a higher payment for damages awarded than a newly-married couple. The likelihood of the marriage lasting would be higher for the couple who have been married longer. While this may not seem fair, the jury has to have some way to quantify an intangible thing such as a relationship.
An attorney who is experienced in car accident injuries will be able to request a settlement amount that includes damages for loss of companionship. They will know the appropriate amount as compared to other cases that have been settled or awarded in the past. This is one reason it is important to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. They will know which cases to refer to so that you may receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to for your injury. While no amount of compensation can bring back the loved one or the life you once knew, it can help you move forward with your life.