Filing a Loss of Consortium Claim
UPDATED: July 17, 2013
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Loss of consortium damages are brought by spouses of parties who suffered severe injury, crippling emotional distress, or death in an accident, and are unable to provide physical or emotional support as a result. If your spouse is unable to function normally after an accident due to significant physical or emotional injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party alleging loss of consortium. Contact an experienced attorney for assistance.
When to File a Loss of Consortium Claim
You may file a loss of consortium claim when your spouse is so impaired by injuries resulting from an accident that they are unable to provide the basic elements of a relationship. If your spouse's injury deprives you of the enjoyment you once received from your relationship, then you can pursue the responsible party. There are a number of common deprivations that you can use, such as loss of:
- Sexual intimacy
- Emotional care and support
- Services around the house such as caring for children
Although commonly associated with the inability to engage in normal sexual relations after an injury, any of the above listed losses can be actionable. As you can imagine, proving the loss of love, affection, comfort, or companionship is difficult, particularly if your spouse is still alive - albeit severely injured. Loss of consortium claims allege losses that are difficult for a judge or jury to verify, much less measure, and you should consult an experienced attorney to assist you.
NOTE: Loss of consortium claims are usually only available in cases of severe physical impairment or death of your spouse. Although you can speak with an attorney about a potential loss of consortium claim, keep expectations reasonable.
Loss of Consortium Damages
Loss of consortium damages are considered non-economic, meaning that they do not involve an exact monetary cost or identifiable loss - in contrast to hospital bills and lost wages. Calculating and arguring for non-economic damages is incredibly difficult and depends on the facts of the case, existing law that gives precedent, the severity of the injury, and testimony by experts who can support a claim. Judges and juries often view non-economic damages, particularly loss of consortium, with speculation, so you will need to have an experienced attorney prepare and argue your case.
Loss of Consortium and Wrongful Death
Every wrongful death lawsuit brought by the spouse of the deceased can request damages for loss of consortium. If your spouse has died as a result of the accident, it is clear that he or she is unable to provide you the love, comfort, and companionship that you cherished. In every wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney should be involved when calculating loss of consortium damages.