What is Loss of Consortium?
It is a personal injury claim that is filed for the loss of marital relations and the loss of affection. It usually covers the relationship of a married couple, but can also be applicable for parents and children.
Loss of consortium usually covers the following: loss of love, loss of the services of a spouse, and the loss of sexual relations. When another person or organization is found to have been negligent in their duty, resulting in a person’s inability for the abovementioned factors, then a personal injury case can be filed against the responsible party. Loss of consortium can come from different possibilities – assault, medical malpractice, accidents, wrongful deaths, and many more.
Who Can File a Case?
Usually, it is the uninjured spouse (or member of the family) who can make a claim, joining it to the injured victim’s lawsuit. The injured victim can also be the one to file for the loss of consortium.
As an example, a man was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a vehicular accident. The responsible driver was found to be distracted (texting), which ultimately caused the crash. The man could sue the driver for the injuries he had sustained, while his wife may also file for loss of consortium as the paralysis means that sexual relations may no longer be possible.
As mentioned above, parents can also file for loss of consortium for their children (likewise, children can do the same if their parents have been in an accident, or are deceased). However, these are limited to instances where minors are severely injured. As a general rule, the injuries should be severe enough to actually interfere with the relationship between the parents and the child.
How to Prove Loss of Consortium
For married couples, proving loss of consortium will have the court evaluating the value or the significance of the loss. Some of the factors affecting this include:
- The stability of the marriage.
- The individual life expectancy of the couple.
- The extent of married life benefits the couple lost. As an example, a man who went in comatose after an accident is likely to be seen as losing more, compared to a man who suffered a broken leg and arm.
The damages awarded for loss of consortium depends on the nature of the personal injury case being filed. Moreover, it is classified as an example of non-economic damage, and is also non-calculable unlike hospital bills. Loss of consortium is more abstract as the damages are related to the emotional loss and suffering of the couple.
Depending on the state, non-economic damages may be capped when it comes to personal injury cases. However, these are not always absolute and may be challenged if deemed fit and appropriate for the situation.
Loss of consortium is a complication of a personal injury claim that can go awry if not handled correctly. To ensure that your rights are protected and your privileges upheld, contact Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP to represent your case and ensure your chances of prevailing.