Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Skip Header/Navigation
Super Lawyers Leandros A. Vrionedes P.C
Your Injury May Entitle You to a Large Monetary Award For a Free Consultation Call Now 1-800-634-8144 or Click Here to Submit Your Case Information
Avvo Clients' Choice
Leandros A. Vrionedes P.C. - Attorneys At Law
Super Lawyers Leandros A. Vrionedes P.C
Lead Counsel LC Rated
National Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Avvo Reviews Leandros A. Vrionedes
Rated by Super Lawyers Leandros A. Vrionedes

“Quality Service With My Personal Attention”

Bus Accident $5,000,000.00

A 12-year-old student who was traveling by New York City Transit ...

Learn More
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

Share This Page:

  • Facebook Share
  • Twitter Share
  • LinkedIn Share
  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Avvo
  • Yelp
  • Instagram

Personal Injury Newsletter

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%.

  • Parental Liability for Acts of Minor Children
    In most states, the age of majority (when a person is recognized by law as an adult), is 18 years of age or older. A “minor” is a person who is under the age of 18. When a minor breaks the law or causes damage or injury to... Read more.
  • Payment of Litigation Costs and Fees
    Many people embark on a lawsuit without taking into consideration all possible consequences. Litigation can be very costly and not all the costs are obvious. Most expect the costs of hiring an attorney and make payment arrangements,... Read more.
  • Treatment of Personal Injury Awards in a Divorce
    Upon termination of a marriage by divorce, one of the most difficult problems is often division of the couple’s real and personal property. Although there are considerable differences in the way states treat property acquired by... Read more.
  • Enforceability of Waivers of Liability
    In general, individuals may be held liable for damages arising from their negligence, and businesses may be held liable for the negligence of its employees. However, it may be possible to avoid such liability under certain circumstances... Read more.
Personal Injury News Links