What Is the Difference between Compensatory and Consortium Damages?

Personal injuries have a significant impact not only on the victim, but his or her family as well. Growing medical bills, an inability to earn income, and severe, life-altering injuries can result in significant financial, physical, and emotional hardship for everyone in the household.

If you have experienced a personal injury due to the negligence of another person, you have the right to pursue compensatory damages. In some situations, your spouse may be eligible to bring a separate claim for loss of consortium.

Understanding Compensatory Damages

Under Missouri law, you have the right to collect compensatory damages in a personal injury claim. Compensatory damages are intended to reimburse you for the losses that you experienced in the accident. Family members of victims who died due to a personal injury may also recover compensatory damages through a wrongful death claim.

There are two general categories of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages involve the tangible, financial losses you or your family experienced, such as the following.

On the other hand, non-economic damages involve the physical and emotional pain and suffering that you endured. A court may also award non-economic damages for the pain and suffering that a family experienced due to a wrongful death. Examples of non-economic losses include the following.

What Are Consortium Damages?

A serious injury can prevent a person from contributing to a spousal relationship, impacting both partners in a marriage. Missouri law recognizes that a spouse can suffer significantly due to an unexpected accident, resulting in loss of consortium. In these situations, the partner of the injured can file his or her own claim and recover compensation for the damages that he or she sustained.

If your spouse experienced any of the following losses due to the injuries that you experienced, he or she may file a loss of consortium claim.

How to Secure Compensation in a Loss of Consortium Claim

If you believe that you or your spouse qualify for a loss of consortium claim, it is important to discuss your case with a lawyer. Proving loss of consortium can be complex, as different couples can experience different types of hardship. As such, you must be prepared for the potential questions and scrutiny that may arise during your case.

You must feel comfortable to discuss intimate details about your relationship and discuss how the accident has impacted your daily life. You and your spouse must both be able to speak freely about parts of your relationship that may feel very private. For most people, this task can feel very difficult.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help. Your attorney can evaluate your case, determine your eligibility for a loss of consortium claim, and help you and your spouse prepare for what to expect. Contact a Kansas City car accident attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.