When a husband or wife dies or is severely injured as a result of someone’s negligence, the surviving spouse can typically seek damages for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity and what’s called “loss of consortium.” Essentially, loss of consortium is the loss of the loved one’s love, care, services, assistance, and companionship. Loss of consortium seeks to compensate the surviving spouse for the harm endured to the marital relationship. Damages for loss of consortium can be awarded not only in wrongful death cases but also in cases in which a spouse has been severely injured and is unable to provide the love, care, services, assistance, and companionship that the couple enjoyed when both persons were healthy.
Damages for loss of consortium are only available to married couples. KRS 411.145 states that “either a wife or husband may recover damages against a third person for loss of consortium, resulting from a negligent or wrongful act of such third person.”