Injuries Affect the Entire Family
When a loved one is injured, the whole family suffers. The spouse is no longer able to help as much, or even at all, with children, the yard, chores and all of the activities of everyday life.
Even worse, the family loses many of the things that matter most in life – the ability to enjoy each other’s company, the activities and hobbies they share, and, in marriage, the damage to the sexual relationship.
In the most severe cases, the family not only loses the life they enjoyed before, their role goes from partner, teammate, mentor/mentee to one of unpaid nurses and caregivers, providing care and support that insurance doesn’t cover.
These wide range of losses are known in the law as loss of consortium claims. Often these claims can be overlooked by an inexperienced attorney, and until recently died with the accident victim.
Fortunately, the Arizona Courts recently held in Martin v. Staheli, 1 CA-CV 19-0074 (12-19-19), that these damages suffered by the family when a loved one is injured are independent injury claims that survive the death of the injured family member. This is an important development in the law that recognizes the loss each family member suffers when a loved one is severely injured.
Because these claims are now individual claims, care needs to be given to make sure separate claims are made in any case against a governmental entity, which requires separate claims and demands by each person injured in the accident.
Gallagher & Kennedy is willing to answer any questions you have, for free, on any of these issues. Please call us at 602.530.8400.