What do “loss of consortium” and “loss of society” mean in a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The Impact Beyond the Injured

In the realm of personal injury law in North Carolina, it’s not just the injured party who bears the burden of an accident. Often overlooked but critically important are the concepts of “Loss of Consortium” and “Loss of Society.” These legal terms represent the profound impact that an injury can have on the loved ones of the injured person.

Loss of Consortium: A Deeper Understanding

Loss of consortium refers to the non-economic damages experienced by the spouse of an injured person. In simpler terms, it addresses the negative impact that the injury has on the marital relationship and the loss of companionship, affection, assistance, and intimacy resulting from the injury. While these damages are intangible, they are real and can significantly affect the overall well-being of the injured person and their spouse.

Implications of Loss of Consortium

When pursuing a personal injury claim in North Carolina, the injured party’s spouse may seek compensation for loss of consortium. This compensation aims to restore, to the extent possible, the marital relationship and support that was affected by the injury. Loss of consortium claims can encompass various aspects, including:

  1. Emotional distress: The injured party’s spouse may experience emotional distress due to witnessing their loved one’s suffering and the impact of the injury on their daily life.
  2. Loss of companionship: Injuries can limit the couple’s ability to engage in shared activities and hobbies, leading to a loss of companionship.
  3. Loss of Intimacy: Serious injuries may impede physical intimacy, creating strain in the relationship.
  4. Loss of household services: If the injured party was responsible for specific household tasks, their inability to perform these duties could lead to additional burdens on the spouse.

Loss of Society: What It Entails

Loss of society is a broader concept that extends beyond the marital relationship. It applies to the deprivation of the injured party’s ability to engage in social, familial, and community activities. While loss of consortium primarily focuses on the impact on the spouse, loss of society accounts for the injury’s effects on the injured person’s interactions with a wider circle, including family, friends, and the community.

Implications of Loss of Society

In personal injury lawsuits in North Carolina, loss of society damages aim to compensate the injured party for the disruption of their social life and interactions. These damages may encompass:

  1. Diminished relationships: The injury may result in strained relationships with family and friends due to the injured person’s inability to participate in social activities and gatherings.
  2. Community involvement: If the injured party was actively engaged in community activities or volunteer work, their injury can lead to a loss of contribution to these endeavors.
  3. Emotional impact: The emotional toll of being isolated or unable to participate in meaningful social interactions can be significant, affecting the overall quality of life.

How These Concepts Impact Personal Injury Claims

In North Carolina personal injury cases, both loss of consortium and loss of society can significantly impact the compensation awarded to the injured party and their spouse. To learn more about the different types of damages you and your family may be entitled to for the losses you have suffered, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to speak with a dedicated North Carolina personal injury lawyer.