Pennsylvania accident victims can recover financial compensation for their damages and injuries in all types of accidents: car accidents, slip and fall accidents, trip and fall accidents, dog attacks, sports accidents, recreational accidents, etc. Did you know that spouses of injured victims in Pennsylvania may also recover damages? This article will address damages spouses of injured and deceased victims may receive under loss of consortium claims.
Victims of accidents may suffer catastrophic injuries. For example, a husband may suffer a leg injury that requires him to amputate his leg or a traumatic brain injury that permanently affects his cognitive abilities. Because of his injuries, the relationship with his wife is significantly affected. The wife may lose the support and companionship she used to receive from her husband. Their intimacy is also affected. All of the responsibilities the husband and wife shared equally prior to the accident fall on the wife after the husband's accident.
Even though the wife was not physically injured in the accident, she sustained significant non-economic damages because of her husband's injuries. She may receive financial compensation for these damages in a loss of consortium claim.
Some accidents take the victims' lives. A husband or wife may die as a result of a motorcycle accident or a car accident in PA. The surviving spouses are mostly likely profoundly depressed and may have difficulty living each day due to the loss of their spouses. Surviving spouses may also recover non-economic damages by making a loss of consortium claim.
Since 2010, a surviving spouse or other family member may recover "consortium" type damages for the wrongful death of a loved one. In the case of Rettger v. UPMC Shadyside, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania stated the following:
Damages for wrongful death are the value of the decedent's life to the family, as well as expenses caused to the family by reason of the death...Thus, members of the decedent's family enumerated in the wrongful death act may recover not only for medical, funeral and estate administration expenses they incur, but also for the value of his services, including society and comfort...The definition of compensable services for the purpose of the wrongful death statute is similar to the definition of consortium as that term is applied in other negligence cases.
Rather, the term clearly extends to the profound emotional and psychological loss suffered upon the death of a parent or a child where the evidence establishes the negligence of another as its cause.
If your husband or wife was injured in an accident in Pennsylvania and you don't know what to do, please contact our office to schedule a FREE consultation. We will address all of your concerns to make sure that you and your spouse recover just financial compensation. 877.944.8396