Has your family member or spouse been seriously injured or killed in an accident? Accidents cause hard times for victims and their loved ones. But what about the damage you may have suffered? You may be able to recover damages for what is known as loss of consortium.
What is loss of consortium? How can it help you? And how can you demonstrate your case? Here is a brief guide.
What is Loss of Consortium?
This legal term refers to the loss of a personal relationship as a result of someone’s negligent actions or a breach of duty. Your relationship with your injured loved one is considered ‘consortium,’ and an accident permanently and seriously alters that relationship. You were a victim of this loss, which is why loss of consortium claims are almost exclusively brought about by spouses, parents, or children for pain and suffering.
How might you illustrate loss of consortium? Imagine that your wife was disabled in an accident. She has sued for damages for her financial and physical injuries. But now, she can no longer participate in many family activities. For example, contributing to income, care for children, or help maintain the home. All these marital relationship losses affect you as well, so you may be able to sue for general damages.
How Can a Claim Help?
If your partner was seriously injured or killed, you have a difficult road ahead. You may need financial assistance you wouldn’t have needed before. Your spouse may not be able to contribute financially to the household, you may need to hire caregivers for them or for minor children, or you may need to take over some of their responsibilities yourself.
In addition, you may see some of the most fundamental aspects of your life derailed — such as the ability to conceive a family, the loss of your sexual relationship, or inability to enjoy your golden years together. Your children may have lost a parent and have lifelong challenges. You may have become the primary caregiver for someone with serious, chronic, and possibly terminal health issues. Medical bills can add up, you may have to hire for household services to keep up, and suffer other economic damages. All these take a toll.
No one can put a price tag on many of these losses, but loss of consortium claims seek to provide financial assistance to help your family move forward in a meaningful way. This claim is not primarily based on financial aspects but rather on the emotional and physical loss.
How Do You Prove Loss of Consortium?
Because loss of consortium depends on the relationship had before the accident, you’ll need to start by demonstrating that you were in a loving, stable relationship with your partner. Many states allow unmarried couples to raise a claim, so marital status may not be the only factor. The key is to prove that you had a good relationship and enjoyed all the things you now claim to have lost.
Due to their very personal nature, loss of consortium claims can be difficult for the plaintiff. You may have to produce details of your intimate life, rehash any marital problems you had in the past, or give a deeply emotional testimony before a court. This route is not for everyone, so each person must decide what’s in their best interests.
Do you think that a loss of consortium claim might be able to help you and your family recover from a tragic accident? If so, start by discussing your case with an experienced personal injury attorney today. The Galligan Law is ready to help. Our legal team can evaluate your situation, help you find the right course, and build the strongest case possible. Call today to make an appointment. We can help with loss of consortium cases, wrongful death, and personal injury.