Loss of Consortium in Georgia Personal Injury Cases
Under Georgia law, loss of consortium claims apply to the loss of a spouse for the other’s society, companionship, affection and all other conditions that come from a marriage. These damages are meant to provide compensation that has been lost by the negligence of another person disrupting the married couple’s life. These damages exist from the spouse’s right within the marriage.
These claims are derivative, which means, it only exists if the injured spouse has a claim for damages which usually exists when the spouse is injured in a personal injury case. Although the injured spouse has two years to bring the claim from the date of the injury, the other spouse will have four years. See Ga. Code 9-3-33.
Loss of society is a non-economic claim in which the non-injured spouse in a personal injury claim can be awarded compensation for the loss. When a spouse is injured, the other spouse experiences independent losses. Unavailability, lack of sexual relations, and companionship are some of the losses a spouse suffers. The spouse is just not available to be with the other spouse like before. In wrongful death cases, loss of society of the deceased spouse is proven by the “full value of the life” of the spouse who died in a personal injury matter.
Loss of affection, is also a non-economic derivative claim which flows from the loss. It is the loss of one’s affection and companionship for the other due to the negligence of another person. Georgia, however, no longer recognizes the “alienation of affection” as an independent claim. The claim was repealed by the legislature in 1979.
Loss of companionship occurs when after a personal injury matter, the non-injured spouse loses the society, companionship, affection, and everything else that derives from the marriage.
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Dennis P. Sawan
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