Loss of Consortium Explained
A look at how loss of consortium is defined, how it can be proved, and the compensation it may necessitate.
Loss of consortium is a lot more than damages received because you can no longer have a sex life. It means that the loss of your loved one deprived you of many or all of the benefits you received from a relationship with that person. This could mean no longer being able to have sex, or it could mean that your spouse is in a vegetative state and you essentially no longer have any relationship at all outside of being a caregiver.
The following are some of the ways your spouse’s injury or illness can damage your relationship:
- A Reduction in the Quality of the Relationship: If your loved one was significantly disabled, this may have dramatically changed your relationship. For example, your intimate relationship may have suffered because of the accident. Also, the fact that your spouse has a much harder time doing things now also lowers the quality of your relationship.
- The Loss of Support from the Injured or Deceased Spouse: You depended on your spouse to offer you support when it was needed. After the accident, your spouse’s ability to continue providing support was damaged.
- The Inability to Provide Services for the Family: Because it often takes two to run a household, the loss of your loved one seriously endangered your ability to keep your family and your home going. If the spouse is severely injured, they cannot do as much as they used to do, and the majority of the responsibilities fall on one person.
The Damages You May Be Entitled to Receive
In a personal injury or wrongful death case, you will ask to be compensated for the losses you suffered. If your spouse survived, you are entitled to make a claim for loss of consortium. You should read further for more information about monetary compensation you can receive if a loved one was a victim of wrongful death.
In a personal injury or wrongful death case, you will ask to be compensated for the losses you suffered.
Proving Loss of Consortium Cases
It can be difficult to prove loss of consortium cases. That’s because loss of consortium is such a subjective area. It suffers from the same challenges as other emotional claims. It’s simple to demonstrate that a victim lost physical things because a monetary value can be placed on them rather easily. This cannot be said for emotional damages and loss of consortium.
These are the types of losses that require an experienced personal injury attorney with experience demonstrating the impact that the plaintiff’s injuries have had on the victim and the victim’s family members.
Who Is Entitled to Bring a Loss of Consortium Claim?
In the past, the only people able to bring a loss of consortium claim have been spouses. Now, courts are allowing domestic partners to bring these claims. Some states allow children and the parents of a deceased loved one to bring these claims as well. In the case of a child, they would be able to claim that the injured parent is unable to care for them in the same manner as before the accident.
Both the child and the parent of the victim will need to demonstrate to the court that the relationship they now have with the victim was dramatically changed the day that the accident occurred.
The Difficulties of Proving Loss of Consortium
It can also be difficult to obtain monetary compensation for loss of consortium because some laws or insurance policies intend for it to be that way. For example, some jurisdictions require that you prove that you were in a valid marriage with your spouse. This means that you will have to agree to place your marriage and the intimacies of it on display.
The defendant’s attorneys will ask you questions during the deposition and again during the trial that you may be uncomfortable answering. Then, your answers will remain in the public record. Before you decide to claim loss of consortium, you may want to discuss this matter with a personal injury attorney first.