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Compensation For A Family Caregiver

When a person is injured in a car accident or other type of accident that leaves him or her incapacitated or permanently disabled, family members (such as a spouse or parent) may wish to become the primary caregivers. Unless the medical needs of the injured person exceed the physical capacity of the family caregiver, the feeling may be that a family member may provide better care than a stranger. Unfortunately, providing around-the-clock care for a person who has suffered debilitating injuries takes a lot of time and effort, and the caregiver may not have an option in terms of sustaining additional employment. Whether or not the compensation received in a personal injury case can cover the lost income of the caregiver, depends on how the loss is categorized.

When an injured person requires a caregiver due to the injuries suffered in an accident, the cost of this care is compensated in present and future value. The amount of compensation depends on the level of care needed, and in some cases, may include the cost of placing the victim in a live-in facility. Therefore, if a parent or spouse chooses to be the primary caregiver, the compensation received under this calculation may be used to supplement their lost income.

However, if the spouse or parent earns more per month than the amount to be awarded, can the spouse or parent seek additional compensation to bridge the gap between the amount of the award and the amount to be lost by quitting his or her job to care for their injured spouse or child? Generally, there is no separate award that would compensate for the lost income. The compensation awarded for a professional caregiver is usually calculated according to the fair market value for such services, and so a parent or spouse taking on the duties would be compensated at the same level. The argument for this is that the loss of the caregiver’s wages or income is not necessarily an unavoidable loss caused by the negligent party that caused the accident. There is another option, but the caregiver is opting to lose his or her wages and provide the necessary care.

Although a spouse may seek compensation for loss of consortium, that claim is non-economic and cannot take into consideration the lost income of the spouse. But, the future lost income of the injured person is compensable as a loss caused by the accident, and can be claimed as part of the personal injury case against the defendant. This money can be used to bridge any income gaps a family may have if a spouse or parent has to become a primary caregiver.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If your loved one was injured and suffered catastrophic or permanent debilitating injuries due to the negligence of another, you may be eligible for compensation to help handle the medical and everyday costs of care. For guidance when considering your legal options, contact Columbus, OH personal injury attorney Ed Schottenstein of Schottenstein Law Office. Call TODAY to schedule your complimentary consultation at (614) 467-8474 . We’ll even arrange free valet parking for you!