Personal injury claims seek to reimburse victims for their losses – and in many cases, the person injured in an accident isn’t the only one able to pursue financial compensation.
Serious injuries can have a permanent impact on personal relationships. As such, most jurisdictions allow spouses of accident victims to recover loss of consortium damages. In some states, parents or other close family members can also receive compensation. Below, you’ll find the basics on consortium damages in personal injury claims.
What are Consortium Damages?
The purpose of consortium damages in a personal injury case is to provide compensation for losses suffered on the part of the accident victim’s spouse or family. Loss of consortium claims can include any or all of the following:
- Loss of services, or the reasonable value of household chores and childcare formerly handled by the injured victim
- Loss of support, which refers to the deprivation of companionship, comfort, guidance and care as a result of the accident
- Loss of quality in the relationship, involving the victim’s inability to provide the same level of love and affection or their sexual constraints
Proving Loss of Consortium
First of all, a claim for loss of consortium can only be made if the accident victim wins their personal injury case. But that isn’t the only hurdle that comes with these types of claims.
As with other non-economic damages – such as pain and suffering and emotional distress – loss of consortium can be difficult to prove. Making a successful claim requires demonstrating the following:
- The validity of the relationship
- The party bringing the claim has suffered losses
- The victim’s injuries are the cause of damaged relationship
In determining whether or not to award consortium damages, the court will take a great deal of information into consideration. The factors that are likely to play a major role in the decision include:
- The length and stability of the personal relationship
- The victim’s household responsibilities prior to the accident
- The life expectancies of the victim and the party bringing the claim
- The type of care and companionship between the two individuals
Get the Legal Help You Need
If one of your loved ones was seriously injured in an accident, you may be eligible for loss of consortium damages. Obtaining the compensation you both deserve isn’t going to be easy, but an experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to build a strong case.
To get expert legal help in California, Idaho or Utah, turn to the professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates. We’ve been helping accident victims with personal injury claims for over 35 years, and we have considerable experience working with cases involving loss of consortium damages. Browse our impressive list of past case results and see for yourself how hard we work to get results for our clients.
For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.