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Calculating Loss of Consortium in a South Dakota Wrongful Death Claim

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Non-economic losses, meaning those losses that don’t come with a fixed monetary value, are a significant part of a wrongful death claim. The loss of companionship, or loss of consortium, is a non-economic loss that is more difficult to determine. Loss of consortium in a South Dakota wrongful death claim may include:

  • Loss of sexual relations or marital relations with a spouse
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of camaraderie
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of guidance for children

Our South Dakota wrongful death lawyers at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole, LLP, will help determine the amount of damages associated with the loss of consortium if you lost a loved one due to the negligent act of another.

How do you calculate something that does not have monetary value?

A South Dakota wrongful death attorney will look at the following when determining the value of loss of consortium:

  • Value of the services lost based on the value of chores and work done around the house; this could include determining how much it would cost to hire someone else to do the chores and other work
  • Emotional support/affection/companionship/marital relations depend on specific facts, such as the amount of time spent with the decedent before he or she died and specifics regarding the sexual relationship
  • Loss of guidance to children will depend on the relationship between the decedent and his or her children, including how much guidance or direction the children typically received from the decedent

There may be aspects of compensatory services that are difficult for a victim’s spouse to claim, particularly if he or she does not feel comfortable making certain aspects of the relationship public, such as sexual relations. In order to claim compensatory services based on the loss of sexual relations, this information may need to be discussed in front of a jury. This is a very uncomfortable task for anyone.

At Zimmer, Duncan & Cole, LLP, our South Dakota wrongful death attorneys have the experience you need to recover damages that rightfully belong to you. If you live in South Dakota, call our office toll-free at (888) 733-2992, we will provide you with a free consultation and discuss your case with you. We will also fully explain what you can expect throughout this entire process.

Category: Personal Injury


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