Do I Have a Loss of Consortium Claim?
When you are injured in an accident, it doesn’t only affect your life. It can also affect the lives of your loved ones, especially your significant other. Serious injuries can prevent you from providing the care, love, and companionship to your spouse or domestic partner. So it only seems right that your loved ones are entitled to some compensation from the responsible party who caused the accident resulting in your injuries.
While the law varies in each state, most jurisdictions allow spouses and domestic partners to recover damages for loss of consortium. In a typical loss of consortium claim, the non-injured spouse can file suit against the liable party for damages resulting from his or ability to enjoy the same affection, companionship and love as he or she did prior to the spouse suffering injury. Loss of consortium claims generally arise after one spouse or domestic partner is seriously injured or killed as a result of another party’s negligence or recklessness.
The Basics of Loss of Consortium
When most of us think of a loss of consortium claim, we automatically consider the term to entail those losses suffered as a result of decreased or limited sexual activity between married couples. However, the reality of the term covers much more than loss of sexual relations. Loss of consortium seeks to compensate the non-injured spouse for the injury’s effect on any spousal function that existed prior to the accident. As such, a non-injured spouse may have a loss of consortium claim for any of the following, depending on the specific laws in the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed:
- Emotional support and care
- Sexual relations
- Love and affection
- Services, including household chores such as cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping
- Caring for small children
This type of damage is generally reserved and most often awarded in cases that involve a spouse who has wrongfully died or has been the victim of a severe injury caused by the negligence of a third party.
Loss of Consortium Is a Non-Economic Damage
There are two types of damages: general damages and special damages. Loss of consortium damages falls under the category of general damages and is thus considered “non-economic” damages. This means that because there is no objective cash value, it does not involve a precise monetary loss. As such, the judge or jury has wide discretion in awarding a loss of consortium claim. It is good practice for your attorney to retain an expert to provide a more precise monetary value for a loss of consortium claim.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
If your loved one died in an accident or suffered a serious injury that was the result of a negligent or reckless act of a third party, you may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a loss of consortium claim. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas today at 888.848.5084.