When your wife or husband meets a personal injury accident, your marriage might turn upside down in just a single snap.
It can have a vast impact on your everyday life and can damage the intimacy of your relationship.
If that circumstance happens, you can file a loss of consortium claim to compensate for your loss.
But before bringing it to court, here are five things you need to know about the loss of consortium in personal injury cases.
What is a Loss of Consortium?
“Consortium” is a legal term which refers to a one’s interest in receiving affection, support, and love from his or her spouse.
Therefore, loss of consortium is a claim that a spouse can make when his or her partner can’t provide the same level of affection, support, love, moral, companionship, intimacy, and guidance as a result of a major injury caused by other people’s negligence.
Some examples of loss of consortium in a personal injury case include:
- Loss of Companionship or Support: If the injured spouse can no longer provide the same level of emotional support to his or her partner.
- Loss of Home Services: If the spouse must perform the household tasks that the injured spouse used to do.
- Loss of Intimacy: If the couple can no longer engage in intimate relations or they can’t have physical contact the way they used to do.
- Loss of Employment: When the spouse has to leave his or her job or to take time off to provide support for the injured spouse.
How Does Loss of Consortium Work in a Personal Injury Case?
When a couple meets a car accident and the wife isn’t hurt but the husband is substantially injured, he has a personal claim for his injuries, sufferings, emotional distress, time away from work, and other losses.
The wife might also file a loss of consortium claim against the driver at fault.
Even though the wife isn’t directly injured, she has still suffered a loss when their marriage is greatly affected, and their lives turned upside down because of the accident.
Who can Bring a Loss of Consortium Claim?
A spouse can bring a claim for loss of consortium if his or her life has been terribly changed due to his or her spouse’s injuries after an accident.
The claimant must prove that he or she suffered significant damages in the form of loss of affection, companionship, and comfort from the injured spouse due to his or her injuries.
Things to Consider Before Making a Loss of Consortium Claims
Before bringing a loss of consortium claim in the court, you should be aware that opening the intimate and most private aspects of your marriage will be part of the process.
So, you should consider if you can withstand the rigorous questioning of the defense attorney during the deposition and trial.
If your marriage is already unhappy and suffered through separation, infidelity, or abuse before the accident, the circumstances surrounding those situations will be extensively discussed in front of the jury and the judge, and that will be a part of the public record.
How is Loss Calculated?
These are non-economic damages which mean that money is just a rough substitute for the losses.
General damages also include humiliation and embarrassment, physical pain and suffering, shock and mental anguish, loss of society and companionship, loss of reputation, and emotional distress.
Basically, this kind of award is left to the judgment of the jury.
However, since general damages are hard to quantify, you’ll probably have to hire an expert to provide an accurate monetary worth for your loss of consortium claim.
There are things that you need to know and consider before filing a loss of consortium claim in connection with a personal injury accident.
You should prepare yourself to handle very detailed and private questions in the court to get the compensations you deserve.
The things mentioned above might help you understand the loss of consortium claim, who can file it, how does it work in your personal injury case, and things to consider before bringing it to the court.
Louise Davis is a single mom with a five-year-old daughter. She loves to write stories and anything related to law, lifestyle, and fashion. On her free time, Louise reads contents relating to laws and providers. She’s also worked as a contributing writer for a car accident attorney in Los Angeles.