Loss of consortium is damage often paid out in personal injury claims. Here’s what you need to know about what loss of consortium is, who can bring forward a claim for it, and what limitations there are on collecting compensation.
What Is “Loss of Consortium”?
The concept behind loss of consortium damages is that the spouse, child, or other qualifying family members cannot enjoy the same love, affection, and relational benefits that they did before their loved one’s injury.
If a court rules that the injury or death was caused by the negligence or carelessness of someone else, it stands to reason that the party would also be responsible for the damages caused to family members, including but not limited to loss of consortium.
How Courts Calculate It
Loss of consortium is more difficult to calculate than other types of damages, like medical expenses and lost wages. This is because it’s considered “noneconomic damage,” or compensation for which money is simply a substitute. Other noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, loss of reputation, and mental anguish.
Generally, how much to award a family member for loss of consortium is up to the judge presiding over the case, or a jury if the case goes to court. A forensic accountant may be able to help establish a fair monetary value based on a variety of factors.
Who Is Eligible to Bring Forward a Claim?
Only individuals extremely closely related to the injured person can bring forward a claim for loss of consortium. This includes spouses, long-term partners, children, adopted or stepchildren, and parents if the child is the one who was injured or killed in the incident.
What Limitations Does Loss of Consortium Have?
You may need to prove your relationship to the injured or deceased party to make a loss of consortium claim. A marriage or birth certificate, for example, would likely suffice. There may also be limitations as a result of insurance policy coverage.
When to Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in an accident or your loved one was permanently injured in a way that drastically altered your relationship, you may be eligible to bring forward a claim for damages suffered as a result of loss of consortium. Contact Appalachian Injury Law today for more information about the loss of consortium or to schedule your consultation to discuss your case in detail. Call now at (800)393-8595.