Theoretically, you can recover the the lost value of your services to your family. As a practical matter, the jury – and the insurance company – might not recognize this unless the injury is severe.
A few months ago, the court appointed me to supervise negotiations in a woman’s lawsuit. She had been hit by another car while riding a motorcycle.
She was a stay at home Mom – she volunteered a lot, took care of her kids and husband. The accident necessitated over $10,000 in medical care, which was covered by insurance.
She had to cut back a lot because of her injuries. She had to miss a lot of her family’s lives in order to get the medical treatment she needed.
The insurance company paid her what they would have paid a man – a non-caregiver – with the same injuries and no lost wages.
Jurors respect and recognize cash. They are happy to make awards for cash that you either pay (for medical bills, or daycare) or don’t receive (paychecks) because of the accident.
Jurors don’t like to pay damages that aren’t economically quantifiable. They believe it when you have to make a cash payment because of your injury, like paying for a doctor bill.
And they usually believe it when you miss work and don’t get paid, if you have a doctor’s excuse and there’s a big impact.
In short, they believe in cash.
Most lawyers think that the jury will be reluctant to award economic damages because you can’t care for someone unless your injury is catastrophic, involving paralysis, loss of limb, or amputation. In significant cases – that is, really bad injuries – economists can testify on the value of a mother or wife’s services that she could not perform because of the accident.
Because the economists are expensive, most lawyers don’t like to use them unless the loss is dramatic.
If you have the cash to pay for temporary help – for instance, cooking or cleaning while you are hurt – that is probably your best argument for getting compensated for the damage to your ability to help your family.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. One of my biggest challenges is finding a way to recover all the damages my client is entitled to. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.