Loss of consortium is the compensation claim by a family member or spouse of the victim who has suffered injury or death as a result of the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person. The damages claimed are intended to compensate for the loss of emotional support, intimacy, companionship, and affection that the injured or deceased person would have provided. Get an expert understanding of Loss of Consortium Claims and their legal definition. Learn more to find out if you qualify to make a claim today.
What Is Loss Of Consortium?
The consortium definition in law is the compensation claim brought by the family, spouse, or people related to you when they are deprived of the companionship, comfort, and sexual relationship they would have had with their spouse or partner as a result of a negligent or intentional act of someone. Consortium legal definition encompasses the non-economic losses that arise from a spouse or partner’s injury or death – the loss of love, affection, guidance, and emotional support. Simply put, take the consortium claims as a part of personal injury damages claims or wrongful death cases. It is not a separate cause of action. Overall, consortium defines the intangible value of a close relationship between two individuals lost due to someone else’s misconduct.
Who Can Bring a Claim for Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium claim can be brought by the following:
- Spouse or partner of the victim
- Family member(s) of the victim
Examples of Loss of Consortium Cases
Lack of consortium should not be ignored in your lawsuit. The following are some cases of loss of consortium examples:
- A husband sues for loss of consortium after his wife is paralyzed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.
- A wife sues for loss of consortium after her husband is killed in a workplace accident due to the employer’s failure to provide adequate safety measures.
- A parent sues for loss of consortium after their child is permanently disabled in a medical malpractice incident.
- A spouse sues for loss of consortium after their partner is seriously injured in a slip and fall accident caused by a property owner’s negligence.
Common accidents that lead to loss of consortium claims
Accidents can happen anywhere. Some of the most common kinds of accidents that can lead to loss of consortium claims are;
- Vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Reckless/drunk or drowsy driving accidents
- Rear-end truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
It is essential to add the loss of consortion to your personal injury claim if the negligent act of the person has caused the death of your loved one.
How to Make a Claim for Loss of Consortium
To make a claim for the loss of consortium, the first step is to consult a personal injury lawyer with the particulars of your case. The injury lawyer will tell you if you have a good case or not and will advise you about the preliminary steps. After the initial consultation, the injury lawyer negotiates, on your behalf, with your insurance company to see if they agree to give you compensation worth your while. If the negotiations fail, you can always file an injury lawsuit in civil court for claiming the damages against the loss of consortium, along with other claims such as mental, medical, and psychological compensation. The claim for loss of consortium is filed with other damages and it is not a separate claim. Once a lawsuit is filed in court, your injury lawyer will collect necessary evidence by going throughF police reports, CCTV footage of the accident (if any), pictures, statement of the eyewitnesses, etc. They will also prepare the necessary legal paperwork and documents to proceed with your case.
How are Loss of Consortium Damages Calculated?
The process of calculating loss of consortium damages is intricate and objective, as many factors are considered, and these factors vary from case to case. However, for generality, some of these factors include:
- Severity of the injury of the victim;
- Duration of relationship/marriage between the couple;
- Ages of the couple;
- The nature of intimacy and affection between them before the injury;
- Loss of household services (if any).
When calculating the loss of consortium damages, the court may analyze statements of specialists i.e. marriage counselors or psychologists. It will also obtain testimonies of the spouses themselves to determine the quantum of the damages. These damages can be:
- Economic losses like lost wages and medical bills,
- Non-economic losses such as emotional distress and mental anguish.
The purpose is to fair compensation awarded to the non-injured spouse to ease the degree of hardships and adverse effects on their lives due to the injury or death of their companion by the negligent actions of another person.
Are There Limits on Damages for Loss of Consortium?
Of course, there are limits on damages for loss of consortium claims, and each state has its own limitations on loss on consortium claims. It means some states enjoy minimum limitations, whereas others don’t. It is essential to consult an injury attorney to understand the limitations on the loss of consortium claims in your state.
What to Consider Before Making a Loss of Consortium Claim
When considering a loss of consortium claim, it is crucial to evaluate the following:
- Depth of the relationship with the injured spouse or partner
- The severity of the injury
- The impact on the relationship.
Seeking advice from a competent personal injury lawyer is also necessary to assess the viability of the claim.
In summary, loss of consortium claims refer to compensation claims brought by the family or spouse of a victim who has suffered injury or death due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act. These claims seek to compensate for the non-economic losses, including emotional support, companionship, and affection, that the injured or deceased person would have provided. Common accidents that lead to loss of consortium claims include vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. To make a loss of consortium claim, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer to assess the viability of the claim and negotiate with the insurance company. Our lawyers are well-equipped to guide you through the process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
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