Loss of Consortium Damages in Georgia Personal Injury Claims


November 11, 2013

When a spouse suffers a severe injury in a car accident or other incident caused by the unreasonably careless conduct of a third party, the spouse's husband or wife may experience enormous financial hardships. If an injured spouse must undergo a long period of physical recovery, this financial pressure along with the emotional and physical toll on the spouse who is caring for an injured loved one may seriously impact a marital relationship. The spouse of a personal injury victim may be entitled to pursue his or her own claim for damages for loss of services and companionship.  This is referred to as a claim for "loss of consortium."

While the injured spouse typically will have claims for his or her own emotional distress, a loss of consortium claim is designed to compensate the spouse of a personal injury victim for his or her personal burdens and demands created by a spouse's injuries. If a spouse suffers the type of injuries that cause temporary or permanent disability, the injured spouse may not be able to assist with household tasks or childcare which increases the physical and emotional stress and obligations borne by the injury victim's spouse. Another form of loss that may be suffered by the spouse of a personal injury victim is the loss of affection, intimacy and companionship of a spouse. Georgia law recognizes both of these types of losses as a form of harm that can be compensated as part of a personal injury claim.

Loss of consortium damages can be difficult to prove because the impact on one's marriage must be significant to justify a reasonable recovery. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys recognize the importance of creating a mental picture for the insurance company and/or jury so that the impact of a motor vehicle accident on the spouse of the person who is injured is clear. We may use a broad range of evidence including statements or testimony of family or friends, videos, pictures and other evidence to communicate the serious adverse impact on the intimacy, companionship and family responsibilities caused by the careless or inattentive conduct of the defendant.

The importance of creating this type of mental picture involves not just communicating the ways that the injured spouse is prevented from participating in childrearing and household responsibilities because of the injury but also the strength of the relationship prior to the incident. Insurance companies often try to establish that a marital relationship was not close prior to the accident to reduce the measure of damages. Because the damage to a closer more intimate marriage generally will be greater in degree than a marriage that was strained prior to the incident, this means that it is important that you work with an experienced Atlanta personal injury law firm who can effectively communicate the degree of change prior to and after the accident.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years Experience to Work For You

Our Atlanta auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.