An accident not only impacts the person involved, but their family members too. There’s so much more that happens as a result of an accident than just loss of income and personal injuries. The after-effects can last for substantial periods of time and have serious ramifications for family members.
What is ‘Loss of Consortium’?
A loss of consortium refers to the loss of the benefits associated with married life or parenting. For example, the ability of injured parties to show affection after being involved in an accident. For loss of consortium to be considered a factor, it’s necessary for the injured party to have either died or at the least sustained serious injuries following their involvement in an accident. As these kinds of losses are in the same category as pain and suffering settlements, it can be difficult to put an accurate value on them. Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute has put together this handy guide detailing the ins and outs of loss of consortium if you’d like to learn more.
Common Accidents that Lead to Loss of Consortium Claims
As outlined above, it’s generally serious accidents that lead to successful loss of consortium claims. Some of the most common kinds of accidents that lead to loss of consortium claims being brought to court include:
- Auto accidents
- Accidents in the workplace or at school
- Medical malpractice
- Assaults and other incidents where people were intentionally harmed
There may always be a chance that people involved in personal injury cases have a viable claim for loss of consortium.
How to Prove Loss of Consortium?
Proving loss of consortium can be a challenge. It involves letting the courts know that your relationship was stable and supportive prior to the accident. It also involves demonstrating that because of the accident, things have changed in an unmanageable manner.
Some of the most common things that are examined include:
- Whether there was a stable, loving relationship prior to the accident
- Living arrangements prior to the accident
- The ways in which the spouses supported each other before the accident
- Life expectancy of both partners
Who Can Claim Loss of Consortium?
There are usually three types of people who can claim for loss of consortium. Spouses, partners, and parents / children.
- If you’re married, you can make a claim for loss of consortium. These are the most common types of loss of consortium claims and are usually the most straightforward.
- In certain states, the right to claim for loss of consortium expands past those in marriages to domestic partners. Depending on where you reside at the time of the accident, it may be possible to claim based on who you live with.
- Loss of consortium claims for children and parents have increased in popularity over recent years and certain states allow both parents and children to make a claim based on impacts to the quality of life that they share.
How is Loss of Consortium Calculated?
It’s challenging for courts to decide on the exact amount that should be paid after a loss of consortium claim, but the judge or the jury will do their utmost to provide a fair reflection of the true cost of the damages.
There may also be legal limits that cap the amount of non-economic damages of which an individual is entitled. For example, insurance policy caps can have a huge impact on the values to which you’re entitled.
Limitations of Loss of Consortium
A loss of consortium claim involves exposing your personal affairs in a relatively public setting. In some states, there are individual limitations to loss of consortium that could have a massive impact on the amount of possible compensation.
For people looking to claim loss of consortium, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the unique limitations of your state.
If you feel that you may be entitled to compensation based on loss of consortium, we could help. Our experienced lawyers have helped thousands of injured individuals get the compensation they’re entitled to. What are you waiting for? Let us connect you to a lawyer near you for a free consultation today.