Accidents of any nature can have long-lasting ramifications victims may not consider on the surface level. While the concept of lost wages and missing time from work has a clear and often definable monetary impact, some factors run more profound than not being able to pay bills.
One non-economic aspect of severe injuries is how it affects the companionship and affection that the injured person used to supply. This loss of love and support is legally classified as a loss of consortium.
While a loss of consortium claim may not reclaim lost kinship and love truly, victims shouldn’t overlook this avenue of justice.
What is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium can also be referred to as “loss of affection” and “loss of companionship” and deals with the issues surrounding the advantages of having a loving spouse, parent, or child in the house. A consortium claim places a monetary value on the void of companionship caused by the accident.
While this claim is usually tied to spousal consortium and the deprivation of sexual benefits, it’s not limited to that aspect.
If the victim’s injuries are grievous or ended in a fatality, ultimately rendering them incapable of providing love and affection, a child or parents consortium can also be filed.
How to Prove Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium damages are under tort laws and are designed to provide respite from others’ negligent actions by awarding the injured party monetary compensation.
The damages derived from the loss of consortium are considered non-economic or general damages. As such, there is no defined method for how to calculate loss of consortium damages. While this may be the case, if a family member or spouse is trying to determine what is loss of consortium worth, these factors need to be considered:
- That a valid marriage or domestic relationship existed
- The injuries sustained were due to the negligence of a third party
- The injuries lead to a loss of consortium
- The spouse suffered from the loss of consortium
To calculate these various factors, a judge will need to investigate that your marriage truly suffered a loss of consortium. In this regard, the courts will need to determine certain aspects such as:
- The length of the marriage
- The stability of the marriage
- The activities that the couple engaged in before the accident
- The living arrangements prior to the injury
- If there was a history of violence in the relationship
When presenting a loss of consortium claim before a judge, the spouse will need to show evidence of the aforementioned list to validate that the injury impacted the marriage. Evidence may include witness testimony as to the stability of the relationship.
For a loss of consortium claim example imagine:
A newlywed is driving to work, and through the negligence of a distracted truck driver, they are struck by the vehicle, resulting in a devastating spinal injury.
The injury leaves the couple incapable of siring children of their own. The victim is also rendered unable to help around the house, provide the same love and attention, and can no longer perform sexually.
Due to the accident’s fallout, the spouse can request compensation for the loss of consortium from the distracted truck driver or their insurance company.
Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Each state has its own legislation surrounding loss of consortium, with some limiting claims to only being filed by spouses. However, in Texas, loss of consortium extends a path to remunerations to parents and children within certain parameters.
Loss of Marital Relationship
The most frequent loss of consortium claim is one issued by a spouse. This claim attempts to receive monetary compensation for the lack of affection, emotional support, and sex that the couple shared before the injury was incurred.
Loss of Parent Relationship
In Texas, a child can receive compensation for the loss of love, protection, and care that their parent would have provided before the accident. However, this only extends to consanguine children and not stepparent/stepchild relationships.
Loss of Child Relationship
Texas has a specific take regarding a parent’s loss of relationship with their child. A parent can only claim loss of consortium in the instance of death of a child due to another party’s negligence, but not for an injury.
Loss of Consortium Limitations
A loss of consortium claim is governed and limited individual state statutes. The majority of courts will need evidence that a valid marriage was affected by the injury, meaning that a divorced or separated couple wouldn’t be able to secure a claim. However, some states may allow for domestic partners to make a claim. This is when partners who live together but are not married suffer from the loss of familial relationships.
Contact Thomas J. Henry Today
If a loss of consortium has impacted you or a loved one due to another party’s negligence, contact Thomas J. Henry. As the largest personal injury law firm in Texas, we know the hardships faced by victims and are experienced in proving loss of consortium.
Our team of expert lawyers will assist you throughout your case. As a result, you won’t have to face the courts alone. We can assist with a variety of cases. Whether you need a San Antonio truck accident lawyer or an Austin car accident lawyer, we can help.
Call Thomas J. Henry today at 361-985-0600.