What Is Loss of Consortium?

What Is Loss of Consortium?

Losing a spouse, parent, partner, or child can be an unbearably tragic experience. The death or injury of a loved one is challenging under any circumstances, especially if a preventable accident resulted in your loss. While it is impossible to put a price on your relationship with the victim, families can recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit through loss of consortium. These types of damages are available when a loved one sustained severe injuries, became permanently disabled, or died. We will examine loss of consortium damages and how you can seek this form of compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. 

What Is Loss of Consortium?

A lawsuit can produce two forms of compensation, compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages award financial sums for injuries, losses, and damages endured. The law breaks compensatory damages into two categories, general and special damages. Loss of consortium is part of the general damages section since it is not necessarily a tangible expense like a hospital bill. Loss of consortium pursues compensation for the deprivation of benefits of a relationship due to the injuries caused by the responsible party. Through loss of consortium, family members can recover compensation for the emotional distress they endured caused by the impact of the victim’s injuries or death.  

What Falls Under Loss of Consortium?

Technically, a relationship yields several advantages and comforts that an injury or death can compromise or negate. Emotional suffering and loss can take many forms in a relationship. Loss of consortium attempts to rectify the victim’s loved ones for aspects of the relationship they can no longer benefit from. Therefore, loss of consortium can cover the loss of intimate relations, affection, companionship, services, and support. 

Loss of intimate relations refers to the injury preventing the victim from engaging in sexual activity. A spouse can sue the defendant if they can no longer have the same intimacy with their injured spouse. For example, women implanted with the Essure Permanent Birth Control System may experience pain during sex. The spouse of a woman suffering issues because of the Essure implant that prevents them from engaging in sexual activity could seek loss of intimate relations against the manufacturer Bayer. 

Loss of companionship means that the injured victim can no longer provide the same level of companionship as they once did before the accident. The injury may inhibit the couple from performing the same activities as they used to. Let’s say that a couple were avid hikers, but an accident resulted in the paralysis of the victim. This paralysis would hinder the couple from continuing with their shared passion. 

Loss of services represents household work, chores, upkeep, and childcare that the victim cannot contribute to. If an injury impedes a victim from cleaning the house, picking the children up from school, or walking the dog, these count as loss of services to the un-injured family member. 

If a victim dies or their injury prevents them from returning to work, this is known as loss of support. A family could endure serious financial strain if the injury excludes the victim from working. 

Who Can File for Loss of Consortium?

Loss of consortium eligibility varies from state to state. A state’s specific personal injury law determines which loved ones can seek these damages. Originally, only current spouses could seek loss of consortium benefits, but this has changed over the years. Although many states strictly limit loss of consortium to current spouses, other states have expanded eligibility to: 

  • Children of deceased parents
  • Parent of a deceased child 
  • Separated spouses 

Most states prohibit siblings and stepparents from filing for loss of consortium. If you are confused or unsure whether your state permits you to pursue loss of consortium damages, fear not. An attorney can help discern whether you qualify for loss of consortium in your state. 

How Much Compensation Can I Recover?

As we mentioned previously, it is more difficult to assign an exact dollar amount to loss of consortium than it is to medical expenses. Multiple factors such as the severity of the injury, and your relationship with the victim impact the amount you receive for loss of consortium. Most states will require you to produce evidence that: 

  • Establishes your relationship with the victim like a marriage license
  • Demonstrates the injury and its extent
  • Shows how you have experienced loss of consortium due to your loved one’s injury 
  • How the responsible party’s actions directly relate to the loss of consortium 

We understand reliving and explaining the pain of your loss of consortium is challenging. Yet, an attorney can take some of the weight off you and help you pursue loss of consortium damages.  This burden is not something that you have to carry alone. Reach out to speak with an attorney at The Lake Law Firm about how your loved one’s injuries or death impacted your relationship and life. Our team recognizes that a person or entity’s negligent actions present consequences not only for the victim but for their loved ones as well. 

How Our Law Firm Can Help You

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139.