How Does the Law Define These Damages? How Are They Calculated?
If you’re hurt in any type of accident in New Jersey because of the negligent acts of another person, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your losses. Often, in a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will ask the court to award damages for “loss of consortium or companionship.” What does that mean? What kinds of losses are covered under such a claim? How are those damages calculated?
The Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The damages to which you may be entitled after a personal injury are divided into two categories:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
Economic damages are those that are tangible and easily calculated, typically determined by looking at actual expenses you have incurred (for medical care or property loss, for example) or by the amount of lost wages or other income.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are designed to compensate you for losses that are intangible, typically with no numerical data to help you tally up your losses. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, the loss of enjoyment of life, and the loss of companionship or consortium.
What Is the Loss of Companionship or Consortium?
Also known as the “loss of affection,” these damages apply when a close family member is injured in an accident. Loss of consortium damages are most often sought when a spouse or partner is injured, but they can also apply when a parent or child is injured. The damages are available when the injuries sustained make it difficult or impossible for the injured person to show affection, provide the same love and care, fulfill the same parenting roles, or continue the same intimate relationship.
How Are These Damages Calculated?
Because there are no concrete losses to assist in calculating these damages, jurors have discretion (subject to review by the court). Factors commonly considered when determining the amount of these losses are:
- The amount of care and companionship previously provided
- Whether the parties were in a stable and loving relationship
- Whether the parties lived in the same house
- The parties’ life expectancies
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Office of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all car accident injury claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.