What is Loss of Consortium in a Personal Injury Case?
Loss of consortium is a cause of action in a personal injury claim where a plaintiff seeks damages for the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another. Negligence or wrongful act may be in the form of assault, battery, medical malpractice, products liability, premises liability, wrongful death caused by a drunk driver, etc.
When a married person is the victim of a tragic accident and ends up suffering from a serious health condition as a result, the most obvious damages are economic ones including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, ongoing care and medications. But what about the mental and emotional anguish that comes with the loss of normal marital relations?
Who can sue for loss of consortium?
Loss of consortium cases seek damages for the loss of normal marital relations including the love/affection, care, companionship and sexual pleasure brought by a spouse. Loss of consortium claims are typically brought by the uninjured spouse but the injured spouse sometimes sues for loss of consortium and the uninjured spouse may join the injured spouse’s lawsuit.
Loss of consortium may also be applied to serious losses to the parent/child relationship. These cases usually involve a severely injured child or the death of a child where the injuries prevent a normal parent/child relationship. This type of loss of consortium case is called filial consortium. Claims for filial consortium are made to give compensation for lost love, care, and companionship of the child or parent accident victim.
Loss of consortium damages
Damages for loss of consortium fall into the non-economic damage category since they are not easily calculable like medical bills. The court will consider the “value” of the pain and suffering endured because of the loss to decide on the award by analyzing the following factors:
- The stability of the marriage prior to the injury
- Each member of the couple’s life expectancy
- The extent of the loss of the benefits of married life
- The extent of the loss of the parent/child relationship
The value of damages varies widely in every personal injury case. If you or your spouse wants to sue for loss of consortium, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There is a time limit to bring personal injury cases, called a statute of limitations.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!