If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to hold the negligent party responsible for your losses. In addition to your loved one’s lost income, Kentucky allows family members to recover special damages for loss of consortium and lost support in a wrongful death lawsuit. Relatives must understand the value of these damages before accepting a settlement.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium is defined in Kentucky Statutory Actions and Limitations § 411.145 as “the right to the services, assistance, aid, society, companionship, and the conjugal relationship between husband and wife, or wife and husband.” A surviving spouse may recover damages against a third party for loss of consortium resulting from a negligent or wrongful act.
Generally speaking, loss of consortium damages are designed to compensate close family members who have lost the love and guidance that the deceased would have provided. Depending on their relationship with the victim, survivors may seek damages for the loss of a:
- Spouse. Surviving partners may claim for the lost affection, companionship, comfort, society, assistance, sexual relations, and emotional and social losses they will continue to suffer for the rest of their life.
- Child. The loss of a young child can be traumatic for surviving family members, but losing a child at any age prevents parents from receiving the love and care that the child would have provided as they aged.
- Parent. The loss of a parent places a significant burden on young children and the surviving parent. Children may be owed compensation for losing a parent’s emotional support, guidance, wisdom, and comfort.
What Are Lost Household Services?
Household services are the total of the housework, childcare, and home maintenance your loved one can no longer provide. A lost spouse or parent may have taken on specific duties—such as cooking, lawn maintenance, gardening, home repair, cleaning, and watching the children—that will have to be done by someone else. Whether you hire someone to do them or take on the extra work yourself, these tasks can cost a lot of money over the years.
How to Calculate Loss of Consortium
A loss of consortium claim is usually filed as a separate claim in conjunction with a wrongful death lawsuit. Lost consortium falls under non-economic damages, making it much more challenging to place a value on than economic losses.
One way of calculating consortium damages is to use a multiplier. An attorney may take the claim’s total value of economic damages and multiply it by a set number ranging from 2 to 5. Another way is to hire an economics advisor or accountant to establish a dollar value for these losses.
In the end, the amount you receive for economic damages is decided by the judge and jury in your case. It’s up to you and your attorney to impress upon the court how much you have suffered and will continue to suffer from the sudden loss of your loved one.
We Can Help You Get the Compensation You Need
While no amount of money could ever replace your loved one, it can give you the resources you need to care for your family and move on from your loss. Our injury lawyers have experience with these types of cases and know the details and preparation necessary to get all of the compensation you are owed.
Under Kentucky law, only certain family members can file and receive benefits in a wrongful death claim. There are also strict time limits on filing a lawsuit, so it’s essential to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
At Gray and White Law, we pursue your legal recovery while you take time to grieve—and we don’t charge anything unless your case is won. Contact us today or call 1(888) 450-4456 to schedule a free case consultation or read through our complimentary guide, Critical Information to Know Before Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Kentucky.