When a married person is severely injured due to the negligence of someone else (such as one of the entities at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport), the spouse owns a legal claim known as loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is legal cause of action in Georgia that is in place to compensate a spouse for the loss of services of the injured spouse. These services can include, but are certainly not limited to whatever the spouse did to contribute to the home before the injury and the loss and/or decrease in sexual relations. Many written discovery requests focus on this claim to the uninjured spouse (as they are also a Plaintiff in a case that includes claims for loss of consortium). Responses to these types of inquiries usually run along the lines of the following:
As a result of my husband’s injuries, we could not go out together to visit friends or other entertainment; we could not participate together in other activities outside the home as had been our practice; we could not perform any of our other usual activities together at home; his injuries resulted in irritability and helplessness leading to friction and, occasionally, arguments; and he was completely unable to participate in physical intimacy with me for an extended periods following the crash. I was required to expend effort and time to care for my husband while he was completely disabled as well as to assist him to a greater degree than before during his continuing partial disability. In addition, my husband was used to being a supportive, handy, helpful spouse and was unable to perform his household chores and assist me in other matters during that same time period. I do not claim that my husband’s accident has caused us to lose the prospect of becoming a parent or of having additional children. See my answers to the specific questions that follow for additional information.
Loss of consortium is a form of non-economic damages and is not subject to definite computation. The extent of my damages are described fully in my other answers, which set forth the time period during which my husband was disabled from various activities. Without waiving that objection, the aftereffects of my husband’s injuries still persist. We cannot do all the things together that we used to do frequently because my husband is simply not up to it. This continues to put a strain on our marital relationship.
My husband and I were a loving, intimate couple before the crash, and would engage in physical intimacy, including but not limited to sexual relations, on a frequent basis. My husband was unable to engage in sexual relations for several weeks after the crash as set forth in previous answers to interrogatories, as a result of his physical injuries. Since then, we have resumed sexual relations, but on a less frequent basis than before and it is not as enjoyable for either of us now since physical movement sometimes causes pain to my husband.
The life changes caused by my husband’s injuries from the crash, taken as a whole, constitute a loss to our marital relationship but these are not discrete separate elements of damages. My husband’s suffering has resulted in the strain on and damage to our marital relationship in many ways as described throughout my preceding answers and in my husband’s answers. My claim for loss of consortium is for non-economic losses, as described above, all of which includes loss of the comfort, companionship, support, and care which I formerly shared with my spouse.
Of course, every case is different, but most loss of consortium claims have some elements like the above strewn into them. Many times, the loss of consortium claim is a valuable one and should not be overlooked or short-changed during the settlement phase or during the award of damages at trial.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. Many of the lawsuits that have been filed by Mr. Fleming have resulted in substantial recoveries for loss of consortium claims owned by the spouse of the injured Plaintiff. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.