Factoring Loss of Consortium Into Legal Claims
When a person with a family is hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, their family members suffer along with them. Not only are they devastated to see their loved one injured, but they also lose the support and care of the injured victim while he or she recovers. This is known as loss of consortium. It is important to understand this term to help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Our Phoenix personal injury attorneys can assess the full extent of your damages, including loss of consortium.
How Is Loss of Consortium Defined?
Loss of consortium is a legal term that applies to the deprivation of benefits offered by an intimate or familial relationship. It may refer to loss of love, affection, companionship, comfort, or sexual intimacy due to injuries caused by the responsible party. The person to be compensated for loss of consortium is not the victim who was physically harmed or killed, but rather close family members of the victim, such as a spouse or children.
What Are Some Examples of Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium factors into many personal injury claims when victims have families, for example:
- A married man with three children is driving home from his office where he works as a securities lawyer, traveling through an intersection with the right of way, when another driver runs a red light and plows into his vehicle. The married man suffers severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) that dramatically and permanently affects his physical, mental, and emotional health. His cognitive abilities are significantly impaired, and he is no longer able to earn a living in his former occupation. His relationship with his wife and children is significantly impacted by extreme personality changes and mood swings resulting from TBI. The injured man’s family clearly has a claim for loss on consortium against the driver who ran the red light.
- A driver turning right at an intersection fails to yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the crosswalk. He hits and kills a young woman pushing a baby in a stroller. Although the baby survives, the young woman’s husband and child are deprived of the support and care she would have provided had she lived. They are entitled to claim loss of consortium in a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
- The brakes go out on an 18-wheeler and the 80,000 pound big rig rear-ends the car in front. The collision causes spinal cord damage leading to paraplegia to a passenger in the back seat of the car. The injured passenger is a newly married 25-year-old man. In addition to the injured victim’s damages, his wife has a claim for loss of consortium, as the accident left her husband disabled and caused him to suffer loss of sexual function, along with emotional trauma, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life, all of which affect their relationship and future together.
What Evidence Is Needed for a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Evidence to support a loss of consortium claim must show how the injury has deprived family members of benefits that would have been provided by the injured victim. It may include testimony of family members and medical experts. Our experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyers can investigate your accident, gather evidence, and present it to strengthen your claim.
When loss of consortium is factored into a personal injury settlement or judgment, it can significantly impact the overall value of the claim. If you or your loved one has been seriously injured through the negligence of another, contact The Husband & Wife Law Team at (602) 457-6222 for skilled legal assistance in pursuing the maximum compensation available, including loss of consortium.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer