The implications of a road accident go beyond the injuries and damages sustained by the victims. Their families also have to bear the brunt of the situation as they see a loved one in pain, cope with the financial losses, and struggle emotionally to deal with the consequences of the mishap.
As the spouse or close relative of the victim, you will experience more than the aftermath of heavy medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income. Loss of companionship is often an overlooked implication of accidents, but it becomes a critical concern eventually.
Your spouse may no longer be able to have a normal marital relationship after the injury. Likewise, they cannot probably take up their parenting duties in the long run.
The good thing is that victims and their families can claim compensation for loss of consortium and companionship under the personal injury law. Moreover, loss of companionship extends beyond physical injuries and includes mental distress as well. Let us explain how you can prove and claim it legally.
Loss of companionship entails more than marital relationships
Your marital life changes after your spouse suffer from a life-changing injury in a mishap. Your relationship may lose intimacy temporarily or permanently.
Legally, loss of companionship is more than missing out on marital intimacy after the accident. It also includes loss of care and affection between partners.
For example, your spouse may be unable to perform reasonable expectations of marriage, such as doing household chores, looking after children, and helping you in other tasks. Likewise, it may apply to losing care and companionship with parents and children rather than only the spouse.
In such cases, the spouse, child, or parent can claim compensation for the loss of consortium.
Proving loss of companionship
Since the loss of companionship is a form of non-economic damage, proving it gets complicated. Calculating the value of such damages is even more challenging.
The best way to do it is by collaborating with these personal injury lawyers specializing in such cases. While there is no proven formula to value the loss of consortium, your lawyer can identify the optimal amount you deserve for it. Here are the factors they consider to calculate the value-
- The relationship between the victim and their spouse and family
- Living arrangements
- Care and companionship received by the spouse and children
- The individual life expectancy of the spouses
Such claims are subjective, so victims and families cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to them. For example, a young couple planning to have kids in the future may claim a bigger amount as compensation compared to an older couple.
Likewise, people with young kids are entitled to a larger compensation because young children need more love and care than grown-ups. The value may differ from case to case, and a lawyer is the best person to help you get the rightful compensation for the victim and their family.
Preparing for the claim
Calculating a fair value for loss of companionship is half the work. These claims tend to be emotionally trying because you have to answer various questions to prove your right to compensation.
Your attorney can guide you about the questions you can expect and the answers you should give. Addressing these questions properly can impact your claim and get a verdict in your favor.
You will have to prove that the accident and injury of your spouse have affected the relationship and your family life as a whole. So make sure you have the right statements and arguments to validate the claim.
Limit and caps on the loss of consortium
Personal injury claims are more complicated than they sound. You cannot expect to get the compensation you demand right away.
The American states have specific laws in damages caps to limit the amounts of damages victims can recover. Most states have caps on noneconomic damages, so expect to face them while claiming compensation for loss of companionship.
The court will pay damages only up to this limit, so know the facts ahead and have realistic expectations.
Claims for loss of companionship are not straightforward because calculating the exact value is complex. Moreover, the state-specific caps and individual situations can affect the outcomes of your case.
The best way to max your compensation is by having an expert to guide you and represent you in court. They make sure you get the amount you deserve to make up for the loss of love, care, and affection in your relationship with the accident victim.
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