Click to Call Firm
  • Construction Site Accident $2,000,000.00

    A laborer who was involved in demolition of a large building...

    Learn More »
  • Elevator Drop $1,400,000.00

    Elevator drop accident in a Queens hospital causing neck injury...

    Learn More »
  • School Bus Accident $1,400,000.00

    School bus accident in the Bronx as the result of speeding, causing...

    Learn More »
  • Maritime Wrongful Death $1,200,000.00

    Barge strikes pleasure boat causing wrongful death in Long Island Sound...

    Learn More »
Leandros A. Vrionedes, Attorneys at Law
RSS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Google Plus
  • YouTube
  • Avvo

Personal Injury Newsletter

  • Damages for Loss of Enjoyment of Life
    Relatively recently, courts have begun awarding damages in certain cases for “loss of enjoyment of life,” also called “hedonic damages,” named for the ancient Greek school of philosophy called... Read more.
  • Use and Conduct of Oral Depositions During a Lawsuit
    Once a lawsuit is filed to recover damages for a personal injury, breach of contract, or other cause of action, the case will usually proceed through several phases. The first phase of a lawsuit usually entails the preparation and... Read more.
  • Advantages of a Class Action Lawsuit
    A class action suit is a claim brought by one or more individuals on behalf of themselves and others with similar claims. There are several types of cases appropriate for a class action lawsuit including: A mass accident... Read more.
  • Hospital-Acquired Infections – A Deadly Threat to Patients
    A nosocomial infection, or hospital-acquired infection, is an infection that was contracted in a hospital. Such infections can be the result of many different factors including poorly sterilized equipment, defective equipment design... Read more.
Personal Injury News Links

Recovery for Loss of Consortium Subject to Reduction by Comparative Negligence

Depending on the jurisdiction, spouses, children, and parents may be able to recover for a “loss of consortium” in personal injury and wrongful death actions. Some states have extended the availability of loss of consortium damages to other parties, including grandparents and non-married cohabitants. Note, however, that the status of the law with respect to this issue varies considerably among states.

As a general proposition, loss of consortium damages seek to compensate an individual for the loss of affection, care, companionship, love and support which may result from an injury to a loved one. For example, suppose Winston is severely injured by a wrongdoer. In a subsequent personal injury lawsuit, Winston will likely sue for damages resulting from his physical injures. In addition, in jurisdictions that permit it, Winston’s spouse, for example, may also sue the wrongdoer to compensate her for the loss of consortium she suffers as a result of Winston’s injuries.

Majority Rule: Derivative Action

The vast majority of jurisdictions categorize a legal claim for loss of consortium damages as a “derivative” action. This means that recovery in the suit for loss of consortium damages depends on the success of the injured family member’s own action. If the injured party’s claim fails, then the loss of consortium claim must also fail.

As a consequence of its derivative nature, a claim for loss of consortium damages may be defeated by any defense that would prevent recovery by the injured party. For example, many jurisdictions recognize the doctrine of “comparative negligence.” Though application of the doctrine varies by state, comparative negligence systems generally operate to reduce a plaintiff’s damages by his or her percentage of fault.

To illustrate, assume that Damien negligently drives through a stop light and collides with Peggy, but Peggy contributes to the accident by driving inattentively. If a jury determines that Peggy was 40% negligent and Damien was 60% negligent, Peggy’s damage award will be reduced by 40%. However, in “modified” comparative negligence jurisdictions, Peggy’s award may be completely barred if her negligence passes a threshold level (e.g., 50% or more at fault).

With respect to loss of consortium awards, a majority of jurisdictions hold that the fault of the physically injured party will likewise either reduce or bar recovery. Therefore, in the example above, if Peggy’s husband seeks to recover for loss of consortium, his award will also be reduced by 40%.

The Law Firm of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. serves individuals with claims for car accidents, bicycle accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, trip and fall accidents, elevator accidents, dog bites, toxic mold, brain injuries, construction accidents and other on-the-job accidents, defective product, wrongful death, premises liability and municipal liability, including civil rights violations, police misconduct and brutality, and accidents occurring on busses and subways. The Firm has offices in New York City, serving clients in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester and throughout New York.

Disclaimer: The invitation to contact our firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. respects your privacy online and will not share your name and contact information with a third party without your consent.

Attorney Advertising
Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2015 Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. All rights reserved.
This Custom WebShop™ website is designed and powered by NextClient.com.