Personal Injury Damages Pt 2

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at 8:22 am    

The point of damages in tort actions is to make the injured person whole. The person is made hole through the award of money to compensate for injuries caused by the accident or incident. This article and a subsequent one will discuss damages established in a tort claim.

There are a number of damages that can be claimed for in a tort claim in order to make the injured party whole. These damages include the following:

Loss of Consortium

Consortium at common law was defined as consisting of services, Society and sexual relations. The original common-law action was only available to the husband for loss of consortium of the wife. However, it now applies to both spouses. Minor children are legally recognised to claim for loss or impairment of parental Consortium. Damages are calculated as the value of such services.

Wrongful death

Every state has a statute attaching civil liability for wrongful death or by providing that personal injury claims survive the death of the decedent. Damages prior to death will go to the decedent’s Estate. however, damages after death will go to the decedent’s survivors. These are usually the decedent’s immediate family. Unlike the decedent’s estate such damages will not be subject to claims by creditors.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are imposed to further a state’s legitimate interest in punishing unlawful conduct and in deterring its repetition. Punitive damages generally should reflect the enormity of the offense and must be a reasonable relationship to compensatory damages. The question is: is a relationship between the punitive damages award and the harm caused by the defendant’s actions? The punitive damages should also account for the profitability of the:

  • defendant’s misconduct
  • Plaintiffs litigation expenses
  • Punishment the defendant will probably receive from other sources
  • Defendants financial condition
  • Effect on its condition of a judgement for the plaintiff






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