Should there be causes of action for less tangible harms like emotional distress or loss of consortium?
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Yes, there should be such causes of action. The reason for this is that tangible harms are not the only kinds of harms done to the victims of torts. They are often not even the most important harms done.
For example, let us say that I am in an accident that is someone else’s fault. I lose a leg and am also left without the ability to have normal sexual relations. Neither of these injuries would prevent me from doing my job. Therefore, the tangible harms I have suffered will be negligible once my medical bills have been paid. However, it is likely that I will not consider the medical bills to be the greatest harms I have suffered. I am now unable to have a normal relationship with my wife. Since my relationship with my wife is one of the most important things in my life, I have been badly damaged by the disruption to that relationship. In addition, I am no longer able to engage in the sorts of physical recreational activities I once enjoyed. If these recreational activities were important to me, this could be a very significant impact as well.
In order to be made whole in any real way, I need to have these causes of action available to me.
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