Prior to initiating a car accident-related lawsuit, most injured California residents are curious to know what kinds of damages they will be able to claim. Most people know that they can seek damages related to medical care and pain and suffering. What many people do not realize is that in some cases, they can also seek money for lost future earnings, and their spouses can seek benefits for lost companionship and lost affection.
Claims related to lost income are triggered when an individual is so injured that he or she misses work and is unable to complete his or her job duties while recovering. Some individuals may never be able to return to work as a result of a permanent disability caused by an accident. In these cases, courts will seek to quantify how much money was lost while unable to work during a medical recovery, and how much money will be lost in the future if an injured person is no longer able to return to his or her job because of paralysis, brain damage or some other kind of permanent injury.
Loss of companionship and affection is legally referred to as loss of consortium. It refers to a husband or wife’s loss of emotional and physical affection that can no longer be received from an injured spouse. Because this is a valid damage claim in many situations, spouses are often incorporated as plaintiffs within a personal injury lawsuit.
It can be difficult for a layperson to evaluate what kinds of personal injury damages he or she may have the ability to pursue in a given case. An experienced personal injury attorney can be of assistance in determining what damages to pursue considering the unique facts of a particular case.