Loss of consortium with personal injury claims is a specific type of damage sometimes awarded after an accident. It may be recoverable when a person suffers an injury that prevents them from providing their spouse with the companionship, love, affection, and sexual relations they did before the injury.
If you experienced a loss of consortium, you can seek compensation for it as a part of your non-economic damages in an insurance claim or lawsuit. This is just one of the many intangible damages you could recover in a personal injury case.
Defining Loss of Consortium in Legal Claims
The Legal Information Institute (LII) defines loss of consortium as the “deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship.” These damages may be available in either a personal injury or wrongful death case under the right circumstances.
Generally, courts will consider the following elements when determining whether a personal injury case can substantiate a loss of consortium claim:
- Loss of love and affection
- Loss of society and companionship
- Impairment of sexual relations
- Loss of performance of material services
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of aid and assistance
- Loss of fidelity
Some examples that could support recovery for loss of consortium include:
- A spouse’s inability to take long walks as the couple enjoyed before the accident
- A spouse’s inability to dance if they once enjoyed dancing regularly
- A spouse’s inability to have sexual relations when doing so was a regular occurrence in the marriage before the injury
- A spouse’s inability to share in household chores and yard work as was customary before the injury
- A spouse’s inability to express romantic love or affection due to a traumatic brain injury
If this applies to your or your spouse’s injury case, you should discuss this with your attorney. Some people find these conversations uncomfortable or embarrassing, but such damages can be a significant part of your financial recovery. You should not worry about bringing up difficult topics related to the case with your legal team.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Does My Personal Injury Case Support Loss of Consortium Damages?
Not every physical injury will result in a loss of consortium. These damages are decided on a case-by-case basis and depend greatly on the couple’s relationship and the injuries suffered. Specifically, the injury must alter their relations with one another significantly before financial recovery is possible.
To be clear, a spouse’s inability to line dance would not constitute a loss of consortium if the couple had never gone line dancing together before. In addition, if this was not a major touchstone of their relationship, it likely would not support a demand for these damages, either.
Most loss of consortium awards apply when devastating, long-lasting injuries alter the relationship. These injuries often include spinal cord injuries, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, or similar impairments.
Recovering Other Non-Economic Damages
Loss of consortium is just one type of non-economic damage potentially available in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Non-economic damages are intangible losses accident victims and their families experience, meaning they do not have a dollar value. However, they often comprise a significant part of a compensation package.
Other examples of common non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Diminished quality of life
To recover these damages, you and your attorney will need to assign value to them before starting settlement negotiations or going to court. Often, this means taking your economic losses and the extent of your injuries into account.
Working with an Attorney May Help You Recover Loss of Consortium Damages
Proving and valuing any non-economic loss is difficult. Knowing how to document the change in your relationship and how the injuries affected your marriage is crucial to building a strong compensation case.
Your attorney should know the evidence necessary and how to present it to support your case. Your legal team can identify all your expenses and losses, value the case, and pursue a fair settlement based on them. Other services they provide should also include:
- Investigating the accident to determine what happened and who is liable
- Representing you in meetings, negotiations, and court proceedings
- Helping you evaluate settlement offers
- Interpreting the laws that apply in your case
- Answering any questions you have throughout the claims process
You do not have to advocate for your own financial recovery alone.
Connect with Morris Bart, LLC About Your Options Today
If you suffered injuries that could support a loss of consortium claim, call the Morris Bart law firm today. We offer a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys, who will review the details of your case and offer advice on what to do next. We are a contingency fee law firm, so our legal services cost you nothing upfront or out of pocket.
Call (800) 537-8185 to discuss your injuries and the potential for loss of consortium damages as part of your settlement or court award.
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