Loss of consortium claims provide compensation for the disruption of a married couple’s overall quality of life due to a spouse’s injury. They are based on the claimant spouse’s property right to companionship, services, love, society, affection, and intimacy resulting from the marital relationship.
Loss of consortium claims also include compensation for the injured spouse’s inability to perform their usual household duties. These might include:
- Cooking family meals,
- Cleaning the home,
- Driving their children to school and activities,
- Running errands, and
- Doing yard work.
Loss of consortium claims also include compensation for emotional distress the claimant suffers. In many cases, the claimant suffers emotional distress by having to deal with the injured spouse’s change in personality, complaints about their injury, and other emotional issues.
If your spouse has been injured and it has disrupted your marital relationship, you should talk to an injury attorney today. An injury lawyer can help you determine whether you could bring a loss of consortium claim in Georgia.
Bringing a Loss of Consortium Claim in Georgia
In Georgia, only married people can bring loss of consortium claims. A spouse must bring a claim within four years of the date of the injury.
Derivative in Nature
Loss of consortium claims are derivative. This means that the loss of consortium claim exists only if the injured spouse’s claim for damages exists. As a result, if the injured spouse settles their claim, the non-injured spouse no longer has a loss of consortium claim.
Liability and damages are the two elements of loss of consortium claims. Liability is proven by showing that the responsible party caused the injured spouse’s injuries. The claimant proves damages by showing that his or her spouse suffered physical or non-physical injuries.
The Success of a Loss of Consortium Claim
To determine whether you have a successful loss of consortium claim, a lawyer will look at whether the injury disrupted the marriage. If the marriage was not stable prior to the injury, then the claiming spouse might not have a successful loss of consortium claim. However, if the marriage was healthy prior to the injury and it disrupted the marriage, the claiming spouse is more likely to have a loss of consortium claim.
How Loss of Consortium Settlements Are Calculated in Georgia
Loss of consortium settlements can be hard to calculate because they address the intangible effects of a spouse’s injury. They do not include compensation for things like lost wages, medical expenses, and diminished earning capacity.
Loss of consortium settlements are calculated by taking into account many factors, including:
- The nature of the relationship between you and your spouse;
- The stability of your marriage before the injury occurred;
- The differences in your relationship after the injury;
- The age and life expectancy of both you and your spouse;
- The number of children you and your spouse have; and
- The severity of the injury’s disruption to the marital relationship.
Talking to an injury lawyer is the best way to get a sense of your potential settlement.
How an Injury Lawyer Can Help You with a Loss of Consortium Claim in Georgia
An injury lawyer can determine whether you have a loss of consortium claim. In addition, a lawyer will consider factors that could boost or defeat your claim, such as:
- Whether you and your spouse have ever had marital problems;
- You and your spouse’s level of intimacy;
- Whether there has ever been any domestic abuse;
- You and your spouse’s household roles; and
- You and your spouse’s roles in your children’s lives.
The team at Pritchard Injury Firm understands the nature of loss of consortium claims and how to handle them. They will show you compassion and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.